Additions sought for two county schools

Board recognized Bearettes, Melton

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
Posted 3/22/19

The Bradley County Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to ask the Bradley County Commission to provide funding for additions at two of its elementary schools. Director of Schools Dr. …

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Additions sought for two county schools

Board recognized Bearettes, Melton

Posted

The Bradley County Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to ask the Bradley County Commission to provide funding for additions at two of its elementary schools. 

Director of Schools Dr. Linda Cash described how space has come to be at a premium at both Black Fox Elementary and North Lee Elementary. 

Both schools use portable buildings to try to help with overcrowding, but she said the increasing need for space has made these spaces inadequate. The portables at Black Fox have also been cited by the fire marshal. 

“It’s certainly needed and something we need to move on very quickly,” board Chairman Troy Weathers said.  

Cash will be preparing to present the case for more funding to the Bradley County Commission ahead of this year’s budget discussions. 

The board also unanimously voted to approve a new four-year contract with the company it currently contracts with to provide regular school bus service for the district. 

The new contract says the district will “pay the contractor for services rendered under this agreement a base of $35.53 per seat per month, and $1.36 per mile and to apply the same percentage raise given to teachers to both the seat rate and the mileage rate.” 

Bradley County Schools Transportation Supervisor Gary Austin said the drivers had asked to receive raises whenever teachers do. This new contract, if approved by the company, will take effect July 1. 

“I think this is going to be a good thing for them and for us,” Austin said. 

The board also approved the first reading of board Policy 3.400 on Student Transportation Management. The existing policy has been changed to say, “In any event where the district must secure alternate transportation, the bus owner will be responsible for the cost.” 

Bradley County Schools owns a fleet of small buses for students with special needs, but it does not own its own fleet of regular school buses. 

Other unanimous votes included: 

• Approval of a $110,271 bid from Cherokee Construction to pave a new access road on the property of Taylor Elementary School; 

• Approval of a $82,558 bid for a culinary arts kitchen hood replacement at Bradley Central High School; 

• Approval for the district to re-bid a project to provide exterior finishes to the gym and cafeteria buildings at Lake Forest Middle School. 

During the meeting, Cash also honored Debbie Melton, dealer operator of Don Ledford Automotive, with an Above and Beyond Award. 

Cash thanked Melton for supporting schools by organizing a series of Buick Drive for Our Schools events. These events, which each allow adults to test-drive cars, each result in a $10,000 donation for the school if it can recruit 500 drivers. 

So far, $60,000 has been raised through these events, and Park View Elementary School is planning another one of these test-drive events in April. 

The Bradley Central High School Bearettes basketball team also received the spotlight during the meeting, as the team recently won the TSSAA Class AAA State Championship. Cash praised Coach Jason Reuter for his leadership and the girls for their hard work and teamwork on and off the championship court. 

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