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BOE approves projects during Zoom meeting

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The May Jones County Board of Education business meeting was once again held via Zoom with the majority of the meeting focused on the business of approving previously discussed projects for the school system.

The May 12 meeting was called to order by Board Chairman Ginger Bailey. Reports from board members were the first item on the agenda, and across the board they expressed their appreciation for teacher and staff members.

Dr. Nancy Nash was the last to give her remarks.

“It warms your heart to know what has been done for our seniors. I appreciate everyone pitching in,” she said.

For his report, Superintendent Chuck Gibson introduced Jones County High School Senior Counselor Kimberly Pittman. The counselor began with an announcement of JCHS 2020 valedictorian Sarah Holder, who holds a grade point average of 99.16, and salutatorian Daniel Hicks, who holds a grade point average of 97.9. Hicks is also the JCHS STAR Student.

Pittman said the top four honor graduates were recognized during the JCHS Honors night program.

“We recognized all 351 graduating seniors,” she said.

Pittman said the cap and gown pick up day went over well. She said it took several hours because of the good turnout, and all but 22 of the caps and gowns were picked up.

The counselor said signs for seniors was another project to recognize seniors, and a billboard with their class picture is on Gray Highway. She said JCHS has been hosting ‘Be the Light’ events on Friday nights with the addition of fireworks May 8.

Pittman said the high school is working with a media company for a graduation ceremony production that is scheduled to take place May 22 at 6 p.m. She said a link would be posted on the JCHS website and on social media available to be viewed.

JCHS Principal Lance Rackley said he has received good feedback about honors night. He gave credit to the Sign Station for the senior signs and Team Sports for fun T-shirts for seniors. He said Express Imaging also created a swag bag for seniors, and Balfour got the cords for honor students in perfect time.

“There are lots of people working behind the scenes. I want to give a shout out to teachers, school transportation and everyone who made the drive through night one our seniors will not forget,” Rackley said.

Bailey added that she appreciates all the efforts and asked Rackley to pass her appreciation to all concerned.

Finance report

CFO Tonya Merritt presented the finance report for the month ending April 30. She said the end of the month marks a completion of 83.33 percent of the school year.

Merritt said the total revenues for the year were $46,171,526 and the total expenses were $41,238,739. The ending cash balance was $20,278,766.

The average SPLOST collection monthly SPLOST collection as of April 30 was $187,499.

Gibson stated that everything looks differently moving forward.

“We have to have a plan to meet the needs of students and teachers,” he said. “We have a lot of work ahead.”

Bailey said the board is making decisions that will benefit children.

“We are pioneers in this kind of learning,” she said.

At the conclusion of the finance report, Gibson presented 11 action items to the board, with each being considered one at a time. The total cost of the projects was $266,265 and each of the items was approved separately.

The superintendent stated his appreciation of Jones County officials for their support and assistance in the football field drainage projects, especially the benefit of Engineer Tim Ingram’s expertise.

Following the approval of the action items, the meeting was adjourned to go into closed session. The next Board meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m., June 9.

Approved Action Items:

• MUSCO Sports Lighting Project – lease contract for renovations and improvements to athletic field lighting. Estimated cost of total contract of $608,000 with seven annual payments of $102,989.78. Project is funded by SPLOST funds and/or Operations and Maintenance budget.

• Lighting for additional parking at JCHS - contract with Middle Georgia Outdoor Lighting for an estimated cost of $25,445 for lighting of additional parking area. Middle Georgia Outdoor Lighting obtained donated light poles to install to allow safe parking on the practice field. Project funded by the bond account.

• Media Center Flooring Project Dames Ferry Elementary – contract with Shaw Flooring to remove existing carpet and provide new flooring to the Media Center. Estimated cost is $31,237.90 and is funded from SPLOST.

• Professional Learning Building Flooring Project - contract with Shaw Flooring to install flooring in the Professional Learning Building. Estimated cost of the project is $15,969.90 and will be funded by SPLOST.

• Computer Lab Flooring Clifton Ridge Middle School – contract with Elite Flooring to remove old carpet and grind and polish floors. Estimated cost is $6,723 and is funded from SPLOST.

• Computer Lab Flooring Gray Station Middle School - contract with Elite Flooring to remove old carpet and grind and polish floors. Estimated cost is $6,723 and is funded from SPLOST.

• Computer Lab furniture Clifton Ridge Middle School – contract with Virco Furniture for purchase of computer lab furniture at Clifton Ridge Middle School. Estimated cost is $6,221.15 and is funded by SPLOST.

• Drainage Work at JCHS football field – contract with Jerry McMillian to provide drainage work at football field. Estimated cost is $54,250 and will be funded from SPLOST.

• Supplies for drainage work at JCHS football field – contract with Ferguson Waterworks at estimated cost of $36,012.05 and will be funded from SPLOST funds.

• Technology Interactive Boards – contract with Unified Technology Systems to provide 21 interactive boards for all schools. Estimated cost is $50,604.75 and will be funded from the technology budget.