The Cartersville City School Board is moving forward with a new athletic facility at the high school.
At its regular meeting Monday night, board members voted 7-0 to establish a budget from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds not to exceed $5,798,953.54 to build the new facility, which will include a field house with locker rooms, showers and a weight room as well as a visiting-team press box.
"It's going to be a nice facility," Superintendent Dr. Howard Hinesley said, noting it will be used for football as well as spring sports for women and men.
The board also unanimously approved hiring R.K. Redding Construction Inc. in Bremen as the primary contractor for the facility at a cost of $4,758,763.
The contractor fees are included in the $5.8 million budget, Hinesley said.
"And the difference in that are the architectural fees and a pretty good chunk of equipment that we're going to bid separately," he said.
Hinesley also said the old gymnasium that needed to be torn down to make room for the new facility was demolished in two days during spring break.
"It's gone," he said. "You can hardly tell it was there."
The board also recognized two retiring officials who have had a beneficial working relationship with the school system.
President Kelley Dial presented Cartersville City Manager Sam Grove, who will be retiring at the end of June after 22 years with the city, and Hinesley's counterpart, Bartow County Superintendent Dr. John Harper, who, like Hinesley, will be retiring June 30, with engraved clocks to show the board's appreciation.
"Our school system is blessed to have partners that work with us on a routine basis, particularly our city council, the mayor and the city manager, [who] play a very vital role in the success that we have in the school system," Hinesley said. "Sam is very gracious — and his department heads — in helping us."
During Grove's tenure, the school system and city have worked together in such areas as sharing facilities, equipment and the cost of school resource officers.
The superintendent said he and the board "thought it would be very appropriate to recognize you, Sam, for the good job you've done."
"We appreciate you," he said. "We didn't always agree on everything, nor should we always agree on everything. At times, we have different goals. But he's always been professional and a good friend."
"I want you to know that I appreciate you," Grove said.
Hinesley said Harper has been a "close friend" to the school system as well as to him personally.
"There are lots of things that I could give you as examples of the good ways that he cooperated with us, and I will say — I know this firsthand, not from him, but from others — with some resistance," he said. "There are people that think there ought to be a consolidated school system between Bartow and the city, but John wasn't one of those by his actions, and if he was, he never let it be known."
The two superintendents communicate with each other regularly and have teamed up together on joint planning sessions, several successful SPLOST campaigns and school safety, Hinesley said.
"I'm going to miss Dr. Harper," he said. "I'm glad he's going to be still living in the community, and I'm glad he came tonight because we want him to know how much we appreciate it because I'm not sure it's always been there, that type of cooperation we've had with his leadership."
Harper said it's "been my honor" to work with Hinesley, who's done "an exceptional job" for the school system.
"I'm very proud of our relationship and that we've really kind of ended this tit-for-tat kind of thing that we had going on between the county and the city, and that's been very beneficial to the entire county," he said.
Board members also recognized Judy Forsyth, a paraprofessional at the elementary school, as the Matthew Hill-Michael Dean HEARTS Employee of the Month for April.
She received a $50 gift card to Appalachian Grill from New Frontier of Bartow County Inc. and had her name added to the perpetual plaque displayed at the school board office.
In other business, board members:
• Unanimously approved a rental request from the Bartow County Masonic Convention in Kingston to use the middle school grounds and parking lot for a 5K run April 28 from 6 to 10 a.m.
• Unanimously approved rolling the Service Solutions contract for custodial services an additional three years, with a 5 percent reduction for 2019 and a cost-of-living adjustment increase not to exceed 2.5 percent for 2020 and 2021.
• Unanimously approved placing instructional resources for social studies and fine arts on the table for public review for 30 days.
• Unanimously approved placing several policies that need to be rescinded, clarified or substantially changed on the table for public review for 30 days.
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