North Putnam board approves design-build contract, e-learning

Friday, April 19, 2019

BAINBRIDGE -- Among other rather straight-forward items on their agendas, school officials took another step in the continually moving process toward beginning North Putnam’s million-dollar, corporation-wide renovation project.

During its regular meeting Thursday evening, the North Putnam School Board approved its design-build contract with Shambaugh & Son, the firm which will complete the repairs over approximately the next 18 months.

Superintendent Nicole Singer detailed that there was communication between her and Shambaugh on elements of the general contract which did not apply to a school corporation, and that adjustments had to be made before presentation to the board.

“Design-build is evolving, and we will have the ability to provide addendums to the project as it is coming along,” Singer said.

One adjustment was the inclusion of a $500 penalty for every day Shambaugh works on the project past its projected time of substantial completion. This was corroborated by Corporation Attorney Daniel Taylor, who also said the other changes were consistent.

Before the approval moved to a vote, council member Dustin Osborne asked if Singer was “comfortable” with the changes. Singer said she was, and was confident the contract clearly sets out expectations before the project is to get under way at the end of this school year.

The board also approved an e-learning platform that will allow teachers to upload assignments during snow days starting next school year. Singer said after receiving feedback from teachers, parents and students, it was decided that e-learning would be used to cover two consecutive snow days.

This means a third day out of school would not include e-learning, and would be made up through “face-to-face” teaching on a later built-in snow day.

Students would also have five days to complete the assignment from whenever it goes live. Singer said students who do not have internet access at home may be able to download the assignments at school if bad weather conditions are expected.

Singer acknowledged there were various scenarios which could play out on this schedule with regard to unpredictable weather. Responding to a question from board member Travis Lambermont about testing the plan, she said a “trial run” could be done in the fall.

Students in Sheri Roach’s community service class at North Putnam High School also presented their work on a revitalization project in Roachdale. They shared their analysis of North Putnam’s demographics, as well as plans for a community garden and a hang-out spot inside the Roachdale Community Building, which is currently under construction.

The effort is the impetus behind a recently awarded grant through the My Community, My Vision program, and the group is collaborating with the Roachdale Revitalization Cooperative Alliance on implementing a plan. Roach also said North Putnam has been awarded $12,000 in grants for the project.

In other business, North Putnam Middle School Principal Scott Miller then brought a request to purchase new materials for sixth- through eighth-grade social studies. Miller emphasized the materials currently used are worn out and need replaced.

“We have some new teachers who have said that they were used when they were in school,” Miller said earnestly.

He also said the new purchase would amount to just over $10,000 and was confident in the quality of the materials. The board approved the purchase.

The board also approved a new metal detector policy to be implemented across the corporation. Singer said the guidelines will be added to the board’s overall policies, and will be put into place at extracurricular events. She also said specific administrative guidelines would need to be analyzed.

Board members and Bainbridge Elementary School also recognized physical education teacher Wes Richardson as North Putnam’s Teacher of the Month for April.

The board also approved the following personnel report:

• New hires: Demer McMurtry, maintenance and groundskeeper; Monica Abner, high school track and field volunteer; Kaelynn Abner high school track and field volunteer; Earl Hall, high school boys’ assistant basketball coach and eighth-grade boys’ head basketball coach, Jenny Heron, high school volleyball first assistant and eighth-grade girls’ assistant basketball coach; Michelle Spencer, high school volleyball assistant coach; Taylor Nauert, high school volleyball assistant coach; Lynn Buescher, high school volleyball assistant coach; Raegan Bowling, high school volleyball assistant coach; Michael Murphy, eighth-grade head football coach; Denny Bayne, eighth-grade assistant football coach; J.C. Mandeville, seventh-grade head football coach; George Selmeister, seventh-grade assistant football coach; Andy Thomas, middle school head swim coach; Wes Richardson, middle school assistant swim coach; Shawn Flora, seventh-grade boys’ head basketball coach; Doug Parent, seventh-grade boys’ assistant basketball coach; Morgan Smith, eighth-grade girls’ head basketball coach; Lana Chin, eighth-grade head volleyball coach and family and consumer science substitute; and Brianna Wells, high school teacher.

• Leaves: Brien Holsapple and Patricia Schreiber, Bainbridge Elementary School special education teacher.

• Resignations: Crystal Parent, bus driver; Alyssa Chew, middle school assistant cross country coach; Susan Trent, middle school head cross country coach; Hilary Vukovits, HS/MS girls’ assistant basketball coach, effective at end of this school year; Rebecca Scotland, high school family and consumer science teacher; and Levi Yowell, high school assistant principal, effective at end of school year.

The next regular meeting of the North Putnam School Board is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16 in the North Putnam Administration Office in Bainbridge.

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