Football lights hit a snag
By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor
Cannon County Schools hit a roadblock Thursday night (March 13) on plans to replace lighting at the high school's football field.
Director of Schools Barbara Parker introduced a plan from Facility Systems Consultants on the project to members of the Cannon County Board of Education. Present were Randy Gannon, Nathan Sanders, Roy Parker, Bruce Daniel and Chris Blackburn.
"I did get an email, late yesterday, from Facilities Systems Consultants which spells out what they will do. How many times they will come out to the site, etc. It also spells out their fees," Parker told board members.
The Knoxville-based company plan called for $5,500 for design and $4,000 to serve as project manager, Parker said. Larry Headla, an engineer, is representing Facilities Systems Consultants.
"Basically they will do all the planning, all the documents that has to be produced. They will do the bidding documents. They will oversee the project. They will actually be on site and doing the final inspection," she explained.
The $9,500 price does not include any of the lights, poles and related costs. That will be bid separately.
"So what I will need from you all to continue, if this meets your approval you will need to approve this proposal and I can get with Mr. Headla tomorrow and let him know this has been approved and we are ready to move forward," Parker said.
Board member Bruce Daniel moved that the board adopt Facilities Systems Consultant as project manager.
"This is upfront money, right? If we get into this and see it's gonna cost too much, can we downsize?" asked Gannon.
Parker agreed saying "If have to rebid, we might have to start the process all over. They did talk about having some alternatives, but most of those are add-ons and not take aways."
"So you don't know what kind of flexibly we will have then?" Gannon asked.
"Flexibility will have to come from how you will design the package. You will have an opportunity to look at that and you will be able to say we don't want that or we do want that," Parker said.
"When it comes to bidding the only flexibility you will have then is to reject all bids and go back to the start," the director of schools said.
Board member Chris Blackburn said, "I'm personally against this plan because they could come back with something astronomical. I would like to see a proposal that will give us the opportunity to upgrade or downgrade instead of us spending $10,000 for them to come back with an astronomical cost that there is no way we can afford."
Board member Nathan Sanders agreed with Blackburn.
"I'm going to vote no. I understand what you (Parker) are saying about the bid process but I would like to see how this would compare with other companies that do the same thing," Sanders said.
"I understand what everyone is saying, but we have a monetary issue too," Gannon said. "I understand what you say about delaying, but there's lots of questions people want answered."
Daniel and Board member Roy Parker voted "yes," with the remainder of the board voting "no."
Schools Director Parker called for a workshop on the football lighting issue at 6:30 p.m. March 17 at the Central Office with March 31 an alternate date.
In other action, the Board of Education approved $2,000 for the system's share of replacing the awning at Woodland School.
Wade McMackins also asked and received permission to establish a "trap" team at CCHS. The program is endorsed by the Boys Scouts of America and Tennessee Wildlife.
Courtney Nichols also received an OK from the board to apply for a Perkins Reserve Grant for the possibility of establishing a salt-water shrimp farm at Cannon County High School. The funding will pay for a 14-foot tank at no cost to the school board.