By Stephen Smoot
After years of preparation and a lot of hard work, the Pendleton County Board of Education finally held its first ever meeting in their new building. The meeting opened with a prayer from J. D. Wilkins, president, in which he related “we thank You for every hand, and every gift, and every talent.”
As Charles Hedrick, Pendleton County Schools superintendent, said of the move, “It took everybody in here and everybody in the office to make it work,” and reserved strong praise for Travis Heavner. Hedrick also thanked Dan Miller and Andy Moyers, who “were workhorses for us.”
Heavner replied that “we’ve still got a lot to do, but we’ve come a long way in three weeks.” He joked that in terms of decoration, “we’ve hit some home runs, but we’ve hit some foul balls too.”
Overall, Heavner reported that “we’ve been pushing pretty hard to get finished.” He added that they had a few odds and ends left to remove, except “there are quite a few things left in the basement.” Staff will commit one day per week to finishing the move until it’s completed.
Hedrick pointed out that the process of moving “came at no extra cost to the county,” because they used staff and county vehicles to move furniture and other materials.
The board then moved to the approval of bills, which included a nearly $10,000 purchase of fresh beef from Darell Warner. J. P. Mowery, director of finance for Pendleton County schools, stated that “the state wants us to buy as much from local sources as we can.”
Mowery went on to share the treasurer’s report. For the month of January 2023, it showed $811,151.38 in receipts for the month and $1.25 million in disbursements. February had $913,389.55 in receipts and $1.13 million in disbursements. Mowery explained that cash flow normally recedes in the first few months of the year. He also showed that in the fiscal year to date, the school system had received more than $10 million in receipts, while paying out $8.56 million, showing a healthy balance sheet overall.
Board members heard an update from Heavner on the Christian Assistance Network building renovations. He shared that parts of the floor had degenerated to a serious condition, saying some of the “2x12s were completely rotted. There’s nothing left.” Workmen installed two separate vapor barriers, 20 tons of gravel and rebar, then applied concrete.
“They actually paved the floor this morning,” Heavner said. After the floor cures, workers can install slip resistant pads. “Hopefully by the end of the month, we can get them back up and running,” Heavner explained.
Board members also heard about progress on the alternative education building. Much of what was needed was already in place, and workers constructed both walls and the roof. Heavner said that he hoped to receive the new building over the summer and that it was being shipped in two pieces.
The board also accepted the resignation of Joe Vincell as middle school girls’ basketball coach while approving the hiring of Mary Beth Hebb as assistant track coach and Hayley Craig as middle school assistant softball coach.
Finally, the board heard that data from the Horizons PSAT exam had been collected and was being analyzed. Benefits include giving students an extra way to prepare for the actual exams later on while also giving teachers ideas for improvement.
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