Range Elementary School. (Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)
ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Board of Education is looking to auction Range Elementary School.
At a workshop meeting Tuesday for the board, the group decided to move forward in the way of auctioning the school property.
According to the board, the building sits on between 3-3.25 acres of land, and was originally purchased for $290. The board said it hoped to make more than that if they decide to auction it off. Members all agreed they should have the property assessed, given that they don’t know the value.
Board member Craig Davis found agreement when he said they should look to sell it sooner rather than later. Their other option would include donating it to the county.
“We should get rid of it before heating season comes along,” Davis said.
Director of Schools Kevin Ward said it would need to be cleaned up before sending the property to auction. The board’s goal is to set a minimum amount it would accept and see what they could get for the property.
Davis asked Ward if he knew of any vandalism to the building, and Ward confirmed a window had been broken but he was taking precautions by leaving the power on, which allows the security video to continue rolling.
Daniel McClain, a secondary supervisor within the school system, pushed forward a plan to use $424,971 in state money for computers within all of the schools. The money would go to buy 480 new desktop computers and 90 laptop computers, as well as to new licensing for programs used on the computers.
The idea McClain stressed was uniformity for the computers and for the schools. He said they would be used, where needed, throughout the system. The goal was to have all the same computers no matter the school, avoiding what he called a “hodgepodge” of computers scattered about the schools.
The money had already been allotted through the budgets, and found no objection from the board.
A Niswonger grant to benefit county schools in the amount of $62,959.46 held a stipulation: it needed to be spent by the Sept. 30 deadline. McClain said the money would be used for three 20-unit laptop carts, which would act as “mobile labs.”
The board discussed with nutrition director Marissa Potter the ins and outs of the universal breakfast program at Central Elementary School. Board members collectively wished that universal breakfast, a program that is able to provide a cost-free breakfast to all of its students, could be implemented at all schools in the system. They asked to see how the bottom line fared after government money reimburses the program. Potter said she would prepare the numbers for the next meeting.
Board member Don Julian and other members spoke highly of the first meal of the day in terms of giving children the best chance of success academically.
Happy Valley High School principal Terry Hubbard brought forth a plan to purchase a John Deere fairway mower for the athletic fields. She said their 1997 model was not going to make it much longer, and they work out plans to buy a diesel model 10 years newer for around $15,000.
Hubbard said their football games have been bringing in enough money, and with the help of fundraising drives with the softball and baseball teams, they set up a plan with the seller, Greenville Turf, a South Carolina tractor company, to pay off the mower in three to four years. She said there’s also a possibility they can avoid paying interest on the mower.
The idea of an evacuation drill was also discussed in the workshop. It would be similar to an exercise at Happy Valley the year before, with this one using school buses to completely go through the process of what would happen in the case of an emergency.
It would eat into the school day, board members agreed, but there would be significant benefits to having such an exercise.
“There’s nothing worse than unpreparedness,” Julian said about the drill.