Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 10, 2013

Valdosta BOE honors Fisher, discusses construction projects

VALDOSTA — During the regularly scheduled Valdosta Board of Education meeting on Monday night, there was a combination of both joy for what the future holds, and a sadness for the end of an era.

This meeting marked the final school board meeting for Annie Fisher, District 1 representative, who will retire at the end of this month. During the meeting, the board also discussed future plans for improvement at two of the middle schools.

The meeting began with Chairman Trey Sherwood presenting Fisher with a plaque honoring her years of service with the Valdosta City School System. Fisher has been a member of the Valdosta Board of Education for 12 years, prior to that she was a teacher for Valdosta City Schools for 30 years.

“I am truly grateful for everything she has done for this board and this system. She always has the kids at the heart of every decision,” said Sherwood.

A plaque was also presented to Dr. Janice Richardson, Valdosta High School principal, to be hung in VHS. The plaque honored VHS for 100 years of continuous accreditation.

Eliza McCall, Second Harvest of South Georgia chief marketing officer, thanked the board for allowing the use of VHS during the Thanksgiving for Thousands drive.

“We are so thankful for your help. We (the school system and Second Harvest) are serving a lot of the same kids and families. It is important for us to continue serving them and working together,” said McCall.

Finance reports were presented by Finance Director Bob Jones. These reports included the financial reports for October, the SPLOST audit report and the budget calendar for FY15. Jones reported that there were no findings in the SPLOST audit and that all expenditures were in line with the law.

The board unanimously approved Policy KG, Use of School Facilities. No changes were made to the policy from the first reading.

This policy change included a required transfer of liability to the user. It also stated that the user must have insurance liability coverage of at least $1 million and  be able to prove, should a deductible be required, the ability to cover the limits of the deductible. This policy change was required following the enactment of House Bill 382.

Next to the podium was Walter Altman of Altman & Barrett Architects presenting a request for bid on the blueprints for the new gymnasium and sports fields complex at J.L. Newbern Middle School and the perimeter fencing around Valdosta Middle School.

At NMS, Altman’s blueprints show additions of a new gymnasium, baseball and softball complex, tennis courts, parking area, a track storage building, and two pressbox/concession buildings.

The board reviewed the blueprints and shared concerns and comments. One consensus among board members was a request to determine pricing to make what was originally a storage room into a state-of-the-art weight room as an alternate option. The board also requested to have both the tennis courts and an additional storage room in the new gymnasium be listed as alternates.

The next project Altman presented was the perimeter fencing around VMS. The blueprints included fencing surrounding the entire area around the VMS track leading to the school. This fencing will separate students from the traffic on Oak, Patterson and Burton streets as well as from the parking area at the school and the bus loading zone. The blueprint showed decorative fencing on the side of the track nearest McKey Park and vinyl-coated chain link fence around the rest of the perimeter.

Vanassa Flucas, District 2, cited concerns about parents parking at the Valdosta State University parking lot across Patterson and allowing their children to cross the road to avoid entering the designated drop-off area. While the new fence will not fix this problem, the board discussed adding more officer enforcement, issuing more tickets or possibly enlisting the help of VSU police officers to deter this dangerous behavior.

This request for bid was unanimously approved. The bid will be let out on Jan. 4, 2014 and opened on Feb. 4, 2014.

During the comments section of the meeting, each of the board members thanked Fisher for her service.

“It’s been my pleasure to spend 42 years in education. I have enjoyed working with each and every one of you. Feel free to call on this senior diva anytime you need help,” said Fisher.  

The meeting ended with Fisher making the final motion to conclude the meeting.

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