Board member Troy Weathers addressed the ongoing debate by the Bradley County Commission about redistricting the land to keep the school in the 6th District during a school board meeting Tuesday.
“I spoke with Mr. Dillard and he knew it was coming into his district. Also, Mrs. Critchfield knew it was not going to be in her district,” former BOE chairman Weathers said.
Rodney Dillard and Christy Critchfield represent the 5th and 6th Districts respectively.
“The 5th District historically has never had a county school in it ... that was one of the motivations of having that location,” Weathers said.
He explained moving the Blue Springs School gave the 5th District a county school while allowing the 6th District to focus more intently on its remaining schools.
“I would ask that our County Commission would certainly not move in that direction of taking it out of the 5th District,” Weathers said.
Due to irresolvable scheduling conflicts, neither Dillard nor Critchfield were able to attend Tuesday’s meeting. Board member David Kelley was also absent.
Weathers said he felt uncomfortable making a motion to support keeping the school in the 5th District since the board members affected most were absent. Current board Chairman Charlie Rose said the issue could be put on the agenda for the next meeting.
Final numbers on insurance money for Blue Springs and Michigan Avenue Elementary schools have not been received.
Cason Conn of Tri-Conn said he went on a four hour walk-through of Blue Springs with representatives of the school’s insurance company two weeks ago.
“I just received an email before this meeting with the new estimates,” Conn said.
The amount that the school system will receive from the insurance company has increased as adjusters have taken a closer look.
Paperwork is also keeping renovations at the Michigan Avenue Elementary gymnasium from moving forward. Angie Lyon of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris said the fire marshal had seen the drawings and recommended minor changes to wording used.
New architectural drawings were needed because the school system is improving the gym, not just fixing damage caused by the April tornadoes. The gym will have motorized bleachers and be handicapped accessible when it is completed.
“We’re going to wind up with a better facility than what we had before,” Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel said.
Cason said the fire marshal had not issued the necessary permit for the school system to be able to get a building permit.
Also during the Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved buying the needed trees to begin the barrier between the new Blue Springs School property and adjoining residential land.