ES board agrees to hire construction manager

Thursday, August 22, 2019

By Samantha Jones

Eureka Springs School District is getting ready to take on multiple construction projects.

On Monday night, the Eureka Springs School Board voted to authorize Superintendent Bryan Pruitt to seek bids to hire a construction manager for upcoming building projects. The first major project, Pruitt said, is a renovation of the soccer and track field behind the elementary school. Pruitt said the track will be leveled up and the shot put and discus competition space will be moved from the middle of the field to to the side of the track.

"Now when we host track meets, they can't have the discus or shot put infield because of the dangers of kids throwing those things," Pruitt said, "so we have to make a pad on the outside of the track for that."

The district plans to build an additional parking lot behind the elementary school, Pruitt said, to accommodate extra traffic during track meets and soccer games. Other upcoming renovations include interior work on the elementary school and a FEMA building, though Pruitt said the FEMA building won't be built for at least another year. Still, Pruitt said, having a construction manager on-hand will help the district determine what work needs to be done and how to accomplish those goals.

"For example, if you're getting glass doors, why buy $35,000 doors when $20,000 doors work?" Pruitt said. "It's something like that. The construction manager will have a watchful eye and can give us the best bids."

Pruitt continued, "We want to be good stewards of the community’s money. We feel like with a construction manager, they'll oversee that."

Also at the meeting, the board voted to approve a contract and memorandum of understanding with the Eureka Springs Community Center Foundation to operate the after-school program at the elementary school. Pruitt said the contract was "kind of dressed up" so that it will automatically renew but either party can end it if they choose to do so.

"I was really pleased with how this went last year, and it was under budget," Pruitt said. "We were happy to do that. It's a win-win for both of us."

In other business, the board approved the purchase of a 2020 integrated bus model, accepted the resignations of Matt Eckman, James Gardner and Jennifer Hoskins and hired Trina Lindsey as a teacher and Becky Stoppel as a paraprofessional. The board also approved the transfer of one student from Berryville.

The board's next regular meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, at the administration building.

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