The Thomaston-Upson Board of Education voted 7-0 to change their regular meeting times from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. The action came at their regular BOE meeting on April 8.
School Superintendent Dr. Maggie Shook brought up the issue, stating the board had talked about it at their last work session.
“Several board members expressed starting the meeting at 6 p.m.” Dr. Shook said. “If the board would like to do this, I think it would give an opportunity for some people to come see what we’re talking about in our meetings, and then also go see the county commission meetings. But it will take board action to make this change.”
Board member Miriam Elsey asked if the earlier start time would create a hardship on any board members working out of the county. Board chair Keith Rohling works out of the county, but he said he would just have to leave work a little earlier. Board members Jacqueline Hollis and Steve Sadler were also questioned about making the meetings on time, but both said it would not be a problem.
Board member Terrell Jackson stated he felt it would better assist board and school staff to have an earlier meeting time.
“I think it would be advantageous for our staff, because it keeps them from having to stick around for another hour. So if it doesn’t cause a hardship for anybody, I’d like to make a motion to change our meeting times to 6 p.m.,” said Jackson.
Board member Leon Fowler seconded the motion and it was approved, 7-0.
In other business, the BOE unanimously approved the low bid of $1,195,256 of Hamlin Air for the first half of the HVAC renovations at Upson-Lee High School.
Rohling stated that in addition to having the lowest bid of the five companies bidding on the work, Hamlin Air was the highest ranked firm in term of experience. Rohling said the work to be done is for half of the school, with half of it being done this year and half being done next year.
Mike Majors, Director of Operations, said the system will receive about $400,000 of the total back from the state.
“For this capital outlay, we’ll get about 35 percent, a little over $400,000 back from the state on this half of the project,” said Majors.
Jackson made a motion to approve the low bid with the add alternate, with Hollis seconding the motion. During discussion, Elsey question why they were not using a local firm for the job. Jackson replied there was too much difference in price.
“The committee did discuss that, and I agree that it is always nice to be able to do business with local people, but I couldn’t justify giving away $50,000 of my own money, and I couldn’t justify giving away $50,000 of somebody else’s money, just to do business with a local firm,” said Jackson.
The vote was called for and was 7-0 in favor.