BWSD central office renovations on schedule
By Geoff Belcher
May 13, 2014, 20:17
The Bay-Waveland School District's near-decade long recovery from Hurricane Katrina is almost complete.
"We are expecting the new central office to be completed by May 31," Dr. Becky Ladner, BWSD superintendent, said Tuesday. We're expecting to move in in different stages throughout the summer."
Although all the schools have been either rebuilt or renovated, central office personnel have been working at a trailer complex on Ulman Avenue in downtown Bay St. Louis since the storm.
The district purchased the former Bay Tech property, located on Second Street in Bay St. Louis, in September 2012 for $580,000. Once renovations are complete, the 29,000 square-foot building, on 1.6 acres of property, will be used as the new district administrative offices and Crossroads Learning Center.
In January 2013, the board approved White Construction as the construction manager, with Ely Guild Hardy Architects designing the renovations.
Tracy Bailey, of White Construction, on Monday told members of the BWSD Board of Trustees that "everything appears to be on target" for the May 31 completion date.
The only major project left unaccounted for, Bailey said, is a canopy near the bus drop-off to shelter students at the Crossroads Learning Center from the rain. Board members approved measures to built the awning at an estimated $7,368.
The money would be paid through the project contingency fund, Ladner said, so it wouldn't add to the roughly $3.9 million renovation cost.
In other action Monday:
Facilities Manager Brad Barlow told board members that the new bleachers are almost complete at the McCulloch Stadium/Tank Williams Field football complex.
District financial manager Lynel Necaise told board members that, for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, enrollment in the district has slightly declined, there are 28 fewer students this year than last.
Necaise said average daily attendance has also declined slightly. Since both factors are used to determine the district's funding combined with the state legislature's decision to continue to underfund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program the district will have approximately $171,000 less for the next school year.
The district will have to cut two-to-three teaching positions for the beginning of the 2014-15 budget year in order to account for the loss, Necaise said, but will hopefully be able to adjust funding to reinstate the positions before the school year actually begins.
The legislature also voted a $1,500 across-the-board teacher pay raise, Necaise said, which will cost the district about $376,000 in additional teacher salary.
"We would like to give non-certified a pay raise as well," Necaise said, returning a portion of the money lost in reduced work days in the 2011-12 school year.
The district honored 10 retiring employees, including Dr. Myron Labat, principal of Crossroads Learning Center and former principal of North Bay Elementary, who has 39 years of experience; teachers Linda Jenkins, Bay High School, 25 years; Myra Ladner, Bay-Waveland Middle School, 35 years; Joan Estapa, Bay-Waveland Middle School, 21 years, and Brenda Spansel, Waveland Elementary, 20 years; Child Nutrition Department employees Martina Taylor and Sharon Ladner, who are retiring with 20 and 31 years of service respectively; and Feltise Jones is retiring after five years with the district Maintenance Department.
The district congratulated the Bay High Lady Tigers Basketball Team for an outstanding year. The Lady Tigers finished the year as the 2014 MHSAA Division 8 4A Champions; 4A South State Champions and 4A State Runner-up.
The district also honored long-time educator Constance "Connie" Roth, who was recently awarded the 2014 Alan R. Barton Award for Excellence in Teaching, sponsored by Mississippi Power.