Middlesboro School Board awards several contracts and bids

Published 11:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Middlesboro Board of Education set the salary schedule and awarded several contracts for the upcoming school year at their June meeting on Tuesday evening.

“We’ve had a good ending to the school year and we’re getting ready for the next school year,” Superintendent Waylon Allen said.

Board member Rian Johnson shared thanks from the Partners for Rural Impact for the district’s help with the Appalachian Youth Leadership Summit at LMU last week.

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“We held the Appalachian Youth Leadership Summit, it was a partnership between LMU and the Partners for Rural Impact. We had 50 kids from all over Kentucky to come in,” board member Rian Johnson said. “Amon Couch, the vice president for Rural Impact told me to be sure and thank the board because the whole summit would not have been what it was without our school district and (Superintendent) Waylon (Allen). He helped to provide transportation, there was the Summer Feeding Program. It truly would not have been as impactful as it was.”

Allen said Couch had called him to thank the board as well.

“We provided transportation and Mr Couch said it would not have been possible without Middlesboro Schools,” Allen said.

Jim Kennedy provided an update on construction projects at the high school. He said all of the asbestos has been removed and new case work was being done on the new science labs.

“District personnel is painting those and on July 8 they’ll be putting new flooring down,” he said. “The new casework is scheduled to be completed in September. They’ll have access to the rooms but during the first few weeks (students) don’t really use the labs that much.”

The design work for the canopies running from the Central Arts Building to the high school should be completed early next month with that project ready to be bid in August. When the tennis courts are repaired, in addition to lines for tennis, the last two courts will also be lined so they can be used for pickleball. Kennedy said that project would also be bid in August.

“We will do the tennis restoration in the fall so it will be ready for them to use in the spring,” he said. “On the six courts there were 4,610 linear feet of cracks that need to be repaired, I thought that was an interesting number.”

Allen said the cracks were due to a drainage problem and that French drains would be installed around the courts.

“We’re going to try to remedy that problem,” he said.

Board chair Teresa Brown asked if the lettering on the brick sign in front of the Arts building could be painted yellow to match the schools. She also mentioned that the sign above the door to the Central Office was very weathered.

Prior to the meeting the board held a workshop with John Shoffner and Perseid Foundation about the district’s STEM program.

“I am excited about what we have accomplished as well as the opportunities that lie ahead with this partnership and our STEM program,” Allen said. “I just want to thank Mr. Shoffner, the board and our administration team for making it possible.”

In other business, the board approved:

— the 2024-25 Salary Schedule to reflect the 6% raise for certified personnel and add the coaches for third and fourth grade girls basketball and the academic teams;

— the first reading of the KSBA Policy and Procedure updates. Allen said the only controversial item the board would have to make a decision on was whether to allow medical marijuana to be administered to students with a prescription by a school nurse. “It’s something you’ll need to think about. Some school districts are doing and some are not,” he said.

— an agreement to contract services with Smoky Hill for software for New Horizon for $10,000 for the Group Home and $10,000 for the high school/middle school for a total of $20,000.

— renewing the asbestos management contract with Air Source Technology.

— the insurance proposal from Houchens for property, general liability, fleet/automobile, umbrella coverage, inland marine premiums for $300,637.00 and cyber liability premium for $8,855.60 for a total of $309,492.60. Allen said it was about a 25% increase from last year. “That is statewide. Insurance is just going through the roof,” he said.

— the insurance proposal from Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) for worker’s compensation insurance in the amount of $62,843.11 and the student/athlete insurance to Roberts Insurance in the amount of $45,636.80. Allen said both of those premiums were similar to last year’s.

— awarding the bus maintenance bid to Custom Paint & Auto Repair, Inc. and Food Service bids to Bimbo Bakeries, Clem’s, Riverside Produce, Prairie Farms, Norvex, Ellisons and PFG.

— a memorandum of agreement with Intrust Healthcare for 2024-25 and a contract with Family Pride Counseling for 2024-25. Both of those companies provide mental health services to students at no cost to the board.

— entering a contract with the Bell County Health Department for school nurses for 2024-25 at a cost of $5,000 per school.

— the Elementary School Dental Program agreement with the Elgin Foundation.

— the grant agreement with Elgin for a school social worker for the 2024-25 school year.

The next Middlesboro Board of Education meeting will be on Tuesday, July 16 at 5 p.m. at the Central Office Building.