The school system has been approved for a $1,032,779 grant for an eight-classroom addition to Walker Valley High School.
The Bradley County Board of Education received an update on the Walker Valley project during a meeting Thursday.
Angie Lyon of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris Architects said the preliminary work for the project was moving forward.
“We are hoping to have drawings by the end of January,” Lyon said. “And hopefully be able to begin construction in early March.”
Whether the cafeteria will be expanded or not will be decided when the bid prices come in.
“We do not have the funding at this point. We are just bidding it to see where we are financially at that time,” board member Troy Weathers said.
Also during the meeting:
n McDaniel presented a letter from the Tennessee Commissioner of Education recognizing Bradley County Schools which would have been designated as reward schools if they had met all the subgroup gap closure requirements. The schools will receive letters explaining how close they were to being designated as reward schools and how they can meet the qualifications next year. Bradley Central High School, Walker Valley High School, Lake Forest Middle School and Hopewell Elementary school will be receiving letters.
n The board approved piloting a new payment plan for school lunches.
“Parents would be able to view what your students are eating, and also have meal reminders, ‘Your account is low,’” nutrition supervisor Emily Brown said.
Parents will also have the option to electronically add money to their child’s meal plan. This service will have a $1.99 fee per transaction, according to Brown.
She said participation is voluntary and parents can use the monitoring part of the program free of charge.
“This has been a hot topic with parents and community groups ... they have requested this,” Brown said.
Brown said this will limit the amount of cash being handled. However, cash and checks will still be accepted to add money to a child’s account. The software is free to the school system through the company the schools use for the free and reduced-lunch pricing program.
The program will be tested at Charleston and Oak Grove elementary schools and Ocoee Middle School. Brown said this will give them a chance to work out any issues before the format goes systemwide.
n Bids were approved to replace heating and air-conditioning units at Ocoee Middle School and Taylor Elementary School. Previously, the school board had voted to rebid the Taylor project when numbers came in higher than estimated. Both projects were awarded to local company Lay Construction. The company was within estimates on both projects and was the lowest and best bid, according to Lyon.
“The re-bid in the Taylor job was a significant savings to our taxpayers. I think the board really made a great decision in bringing this back for a rebid. We saw significant savings,” McDaniel said.
n Andrea Lockerby, Bradley County Schools Coordinated School Health director, challenged the board to become a part of the CSH Healthy School Challenge. Lockerby said the program is being expanded this year to include staff and faculty. The program is being expanded through $1,000 from the Tennessee School Board Association for the school system receiving bronze in last year’s “Healthier School Challenge.” Lockerby said if half of board members participate, the school system stands to win more money next year.
n The board also approved live streaming of board meetings on its website. Meetings will also be archived.