The condition of Basset High School’s track is “starting to hurt athletes,” cross country and track coach told the Henry County School Board on May 5.
Kevin Underwood, who teaches 4th grade math and science at Stanleytown Elementary and is finishing his 10th year as Bassett’s track coach, said the track, which is at least 20-years old, has gone through so many cycles of hot and cold “that it is hard as can be.”
There are three or four “huge cracks all the way across” the track, he said, adding “that track is really starting to hurt the kids.”
He said he was running on it just a few days before and now has a bruised shin as a result. “And I didn’t even hit anything,” he said.
He said his student athletes run on the track three days per week. One of his runners is recovering from a stress fracture.
“I can’t say it’s all because of the pavement track, but it’s definitely adding to it,” he said.
“Magna Vista’s track is in about the same shape, so I’m advocating for both schools, because we’re at the point now that we both have competitive track and field programs,” Underwood said.
While he requested a rubberized track, “at this point, I would take dirt over a concrete track,” he said.
Near the end of the meeting, Elizabeth Durden, of the Collinsville District, said, “that’s obviously a major issue. Is that on the radar to be addressed?”
“Every 10 years, they do a facilities study,” said Schools Superintendent Sandy Strayer, “and of course there’s tons of stuff that Mr. Scott (Keith Scott, director of facilities maintenance) would love to do given the money. If you give him the check, he can do it. I know we have limited funds, but I know he is very aware of what goes on with everything in our school system.”
Scott said principals submit capital requests annually, “and we talk about them on a pretty regular basis. If we know about those, then we can talk about our capital improvement plan.”
He said the division was in the first quarter of its facilities assessment, which will be completed around October of this year. “I feel pretty certain if that’s an issue like that, that will be included which will in turn help us build our capital improvement plan moving forward.”
Scott recalled that in 2017, maintenance officials priced replacing the track at Laurel Park.
“That was $160,000 to redo that rubber surface in 2017, so you can imagine how things have changed. But with this assessment, we should have some budgetary numbers that we can work off of and build our capital plan.”
“I don’t ever want it to be a concern for parents who have talented students to go elsewhere because our facilities aren’t up to standard,” Durden said.
In other matters, the board:
*Recognized a number of students who achieved various awards and placements during the school year.
*Heard a budget update from Dr. David Scott, assistant superintendent of operations and administrative services, who discussed scale adjustments and step increases for teacher salaries. He said a combination of the adjustments and increases would provide an average increase of more than 8 percent for employees on the teacher scale. Employees at the top of the scale would receive a percentage increase rather than a step advancement. In the proposed scale for the 2022-23 school year, the starting salary for first year, fully licensed teachers will be $45,537, compared to $43,369 from the 2021-22 scale. Employees moved to the final step through advancement will be paid $63,306, and employees who have reached the final step before the beginning of the school year will receive an additional increase, he said.
*Adopted guidelines governing the use of personal electronic devices in school. The policy states that use of such devices, including cell phones, smart watches and other smart devices, electronic games, and other forms of electronic communication, is prohibited from the start to the end of the instructional day. High school students, the guidelines state, may use devices during breakfast and lunch, if deemed appropriate by school administration.
*Adopted student dress standards for the upcoming school year.
*Authorized Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Lisa Millner to sign all Virginia Department of Education correspondence, reports, documents, requisitions, and other financial correspondence in Strayer’s absence for a period beginning July 1, 2022, and ending June 30, 2023.
*Approved the 2022-23 Special Education Annual Plan/Part B Flow-Through Application.
*Approved revisions of School Board policies and regulations.
*Awarded a $270,000 contract for fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs for school cafeterias to Wood’s Produce of Meadows of Dan, which was the sole vendor to respond to a request for proposals.
*Approved the purchase of a new 20-ton integrated wrecker on a new single-axle chassis from Matheny Motor Truck Company, up to $392,718.08, subject to availability of year-end funding. Dr. Scott said that the school division’s transportation department currently owns a 1992 5-ton wrecker used for the timely recovery of vehicles due to mechanical failures and accidents. It has been used to assist other county agencies in the transportation of vehicles, he said. The current wrecker is no longer adequate to the division’s needs as the weight of buses and other school vehicles has increased and the lack of ability to tow from the rear of a bus. Matheny was the only company that responded to the bid solicitation.
*Awarded a $282,518 contract in ESSER II funding to Piedmont Mechanical of Collinsville to add air conditioning to the gym at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School. The board further awarded a $113,355 contract in ESSER II funding to Trane of Roanoke for rooftop air conditioning units.
*Awarded a $342,996 contract in ESSER II funds to Piedmont Mechanical of Collinsville for the addition of air conditioning to the kitchens at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School and the Center for Community Learning.
*Awarded a $338,890 contract for grounds maintenance services to Gammons Lawn Care of Ridgeway.
*Awarded a $448,000 contract to Valley Boiler & Mechanical, Inc. of Roanoke to replace the domestic water heating system at Magna Vista High School. The existing system is served by a fuel oil heating boiler which has exceeded its life expectancy.
May 27: Magna Vista High School graduation, 7 p.m.
May 28: Bassett High School Graduation, 9 a.m.
May 30: School Board holiday
June 9: School Board monthly meeting, 9 a.m.
June 20: School Board holiday
June 23: School Board special meeting, 9 a.m.
July 14: School Board monthly meeting, 9 a.m.
July 14: School Board retreat, 11 a.m.