GENTRY -- The Gentry School Board approved the purchase of a large portable classroom and offered new contracts to the teaching staff April 18 during its meeting.
The board started off its meeting with a student request regarding the 2022 prom. After hearing a presentation from Gentry sophomores Reese Hester and Payge Deason, the School Board granted permission for next year's high school prom to be held off-campus at the Holland Barn in Highfill. The duo's presentation focused on the safety of past proms held at the Cypress Barn in Siloam Springs and the additional space in the Holland Barn venue and its proximity to Gentry.
The board gave approval to purchase a 10-classroom and two-restroom portable building to be located behind the two schools to accommodate the increased enrollment in the district and the need for more space by the fall semester.
The 2016 building, which was leased from Satellite in Tulsa, Okla., to a school district in San Antonio, will cost the district $370,000, plus $54,000 to deliver and another $28,000 to set up.
According to Jason Barrett, the district's facilities manager, the total cost to the district would be $457,000 plus sales tax, or approximately $500,415. He said the building could be purchased on a TIPS/TAPS contract and Flintco could be hired to do the site work, which includes the installation of 280 piers to support the 9,700-square-foot building.
He said to buy such a building new in today's market would cost about $1 million, and it would not be ready for the start of fall classes in August. If the district were to order a new portable building, it could possibly come off the assembly line in August, be set up in September and be turned over to the district for use in October, Barrett said.
Barrett said that Satellite would bring the building back from Texas and completely go through it and make any necessary repairs before delivering it. He said a virtual tour of the building would also be requested prior to the purchase. The building will be delivered as 11 separate trailer modules, Barrett said.
According to Terrie Metz, district superintendent, the district needs at least three more classrooms for the high school and three for the middle school by the start of the fall semester. Both Metz and Barrett said the need for more space was a good problem to have.
The board heard from the athletic director, Brent Hester, regarding the golf program. Hester said the golf team had four participants in 2021 and only one this past season. He said he inquired about interest for the coming year and it was minimal, with none of those expressing casual interest owning clubs or having even a basic knowledge of the game.
Hester suggested the district needed more than a casual interest to compete, and he and Metz recommended the district's competitive golf team be suspended, saving the district the costs for a coach, fees, transportation and equipment. The board unanimously concurred.
In addition to offering contracts to a long list of current teachers, the board approved the following staffing changes on April 18:
• Resignation of Christin Hutchek as a cafeteria worker.
• The hiring of Heather Collins as a special education paraprofessional.
• The resignations of Bethany Bryant as a special education teacher in the primary school, Natalie Johnson as a primary school teacher, and Jamie Bell and Erica Kollman as intermediate school teachers.
• The transfers of Sara Horne from her duties as athletic trainer to teach science, sports medicine and medical classes, Wendy Jackson to a multi-classroom leader position and Debra Buss to primary school special education.
• Cody Forga was hired as a learning loss teacher and coach.
At a special meeting on April 21, the board also accepted the resignation of Ginger Duncan as intermediate school nurse, Leslie Moore as a high school math teacher, and transferred Brae Harper from high school principal to federal curriculum coordinator.
At the special meeting, the board approved the hiring of Taylor Genser to teach at the intermediate school, and Derek Wood to teach music at the intermediate school.
The board also finalized approval for next year's school calendar.
Print Headline: School Board OKs portable building purchase
Copyright © 2022, Northwest Arkansas Newspapers LLC. (NWA Media)
Material from the Associated Press is Copyright © 2022, Associated Press and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and noncommercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. All rights reserved.