By MIKE WEST, Courier Editor
It was a mixture of good and bad news for Cannon County sports fans Thursday (June 5) as Board of Education members passed abbreviated versions of plans to upgrade football facilities.
Board member Bruce Daniel’s $180,000 to $200,000 proposal to upgrade lighting failed even to get a second as it went before the school panel.
Board Chairman Randy Gannon called on board members three times for a second to Daniel’s motion/
“Motion fails. Do I have another motion?” Gannon asked.
After board members failed to present an alternative, Gannon offered a counter offer himself.
He proposed downgrading the lighting system from 50 candlepower to 30 candlepower with underground wiring, galvanized posts with remote ballast and no service agreement.
“You’re going to have light on the field, but not in the bleachers,” Daniel said.
Board member Nathan Sanders asked if the metal poles were necessary and if they could be replaced with traditional wooden poles.
“They don't have the big trees like we once did,” Gannon explained. Because of the heavy load presented by the light structure, wooden poles tend to twist, bend and even break, he said.
Daniel did second Gannon's motion, which passed with Gannon, Daniel and Sanders voting yes. Roy Parker voted no. Board member Chris Blackburn was absent.
The lightning plan now goes back to engineer Larry Headla of Facilities Systems Consultants, who will have to redraw the plan for bidding. No cost figure was available for the revised lighting system, but eliminating the service agreement and remote monitoring should eliminate $5,000-$8,000 and the cut in candlepower should eliminate even more.
If funded, the lighting project will be paid out of next year's school budget.
In more bad news for the football program, the Board of Education turned down CCHS Principal Mike Jones plan to upgrade the football field's concession stand with the addition of public restrooms.
Jones' plan would have cost $21,545 with students doing the planning work and prisoners at the Cannon County Jail furnishing the labor.
“Mr. Jones is stepping above his job requirements and will direct the project,” said Board member Daniel, who moved to approve the project using capital outlay funds.
Barbara Parker, director of schools, suggested amending the plan to “allow up to $21,545.” The project could cost less than that figure, she said.
“I understand what Bruce is saying, but principals usually ask for only one-half or one-third of a project's cost,” Parker said.
Recently, the Board of Education approved Principal Karen King asked for funding for a fence at West Side School. The board furnished one-third of the cost with the West Side PTO and the school itself paying two-thirds.
“That's just an example,” she said.
Daniel's motion failed due to lack of a second.
Chairman Gannon moved to fund $8,000 of the project. “That's a little more than a third.”
“We are dealing with a time frame,” Daniel said. “We've got a chance to get this done. It might not mean so much to many people, but using a porta-potty is pretty embarrassing.”
Gannon's motion passed with all the board members voting in favor.
In other action, the Board of Education:
* Approved Big John's Mowing service for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 mowing contract. The board received three bids on the project.
* OK'd a $86,137 bid for a 72-passenger school bus to service Short Mountain School. Central Bus Sales of Lebanon offered the winning bid for the Blue Bird Transportation bus.
* Approved Policy 6.5001 allowing service animals in county school buildings, in classrooms and at school functions. The animal must be a dog, or in specific circumstances, a miniature horse.
Students will be responsible for walking the animals outside for “bathroom” breaks.