During Thursday’s meeting, Angie Lyon of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris Architect said the project is moving forward on schedule.
Board member Troy Weathers asked if the addition would have a generator. Lyon said having a power generator for the rooms is a requirement to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines for a safe room.
The eight-classroom addition is being constructed to safe room standards to qualify for a FEMA mitigation grant.
Bradley County schools originally submitted three projects for the grant but there was only enough grant funding available to complete one project. The Bradley County Board of Education selected Walker Valley as the project to be funded because it could be completed with the grant and required local match. The other projects applied for — an academic building at Lake Forest Middle School and a new elementary school — would require additional funding from the Bradley County Commission.
Board members also heard a presentation from two students who had participated in the Student Congress on Policies in Education event.
James Peck and Collin Gwaltney said the SCOPE event gave them the experience of participating in a mock school board meeting.
“We learned how all this works,” Gwaltney said. “It was a good experience.”
Peck said he learned how to argue the positives and negatives of an issue even if he holds a strong opinion on the matter under discussion.
“It is difficult sometimes to take the point of view of the side you don’t agree with,” vice chairman Vicki Beaty said.
Peck was a part of a group that explored lengthening the school year from 180 to 200 days. The group found that the measure would not be cost effective.
“I have seen so many children grow so much from this,” BCHS social studies Penny Howell said.
Also during Thursday’s meeting, an update was given on various renovation projects throughout the school system. Michigan Avenue Elementary School is getting a new roof and heating-and-air system and Hopewell Elementary School is having roof work done. Ocoee Middle School and Taylor Elementary school are also set to receive new heating and air systems.
Board member Nicholas Lillios asked if details of capital projects could be included in future packets for the board members. Lillios said the board would then have a week to formulate questions about the progress of the projects rather than the few minutes in the meeting. Lyon said she could do that.
In addition to bids for Walker Valley, an update on the Bradley County Virtual School and a discussion of the school board policy regulating appearances before the school board will also be discussed.
These issues are at the request of board member Chris Turner.