GREENTOWN – With just two more weeks of classes left in the current school year, the Eastern Howard County School Corp. board of education is looking ahead to the 2014-15 school year.
At a regular meeting Tuesday, the board finalized plans for a $2 million renovation at Eastern Sr./Jr. High School, which will be completed over the summer; approved another year of working with its cafeteria management company, Sodexo; and approved a lease agreement to keep up the district’s 1:1 technology initiative.
The final stage of renovations at the secondary building includes upgrades to the HVAC system, lighting ceilings and restrooms in some areas of the school. The board approved specifics of the project last month. Tuesday’s meeting included a public hearing on the project, the board’s approval of a patrons’ petition in support of the renovations and assigning contracts for the project to the Building Corporation.
The Building Corporation, which consists of a group of taxpayers, owns the building, handles contracts for work there and holds bonds. The school corporation makes payments to the building corporation until the debt is paid off.
Superintendent Tracy Caddell again noted the project will have no financial impact on taxpayers. Debt will be paid off on a previous renovation project at the elementary school, and a new levy will replace that for the jr./sr. high renovations.
Assistant jr./sr. high principal Lindsey Brown gave a report based on an internal audit of Sodexo, and she recommended the district agree to a one-year contract extension with the management company. Eastern hired Sodexo in 2012 to help the food services department comply with new federal regulations on the nutritional value of school lunches and to provide more purchasing power.
“What we determined was there are things that can be approved upon,” Brown said, adding that the top priorities moving forward will be providing more training opportunities for Eastern’s cafeteria staff and giving the cafeteria managers more ownership over planning the menus.