School board delays work shop project


Staff Writer

Thursday, November 8, 2018

NASHVILLE — As the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education has tabled plans to make staff reductions for now, it is also taking a closer look at new projects presented to it and has tabled at least one of those projects. 

Brian Miller, chief of staff for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, asked school board members Monday to approve an expenditure of almost $140,000 from the current maintenance budget for a new work shop and storage building at Oak Level Annex. The project already has been bid out and this figure would cover the slab and overall construction of the metal building that would be used by the maintenance staff for storage and to construct cabinets and others items needed by schools.

Some school board members questioned the need for the expenditure in light of the current budgetary issues the district is facing.

“What I am curious about is the other space we have in our system,” said school board member Wendy Wilson. “While we have the money budgeted, we also have a ton of different needs — and that is what concerns me.”

Miller said the facility is needed because this work had previously been done at CITI High School, which now needs the space for lab space to meet the demands of its technical curriculum.

Superintendent Shelton Jefferies said the maintenance crew saves the school district significant money with the work that is accomplished in the workshop.

“This is a division that is the flagship of the district,” Jefferies said. “The money that we have saved under the direction of Shannon Davis and the professionals under his charge is an investment that is desperately needed. It is an investment in a division that reaps savings for this district every single year.”

After some discussion, board Vice Chairman Bill Sharpe asked that the decision be tabled until the school board has more information about the dimensions of the building and whether any other site owned by the district would serve the purpose. The measure was passed by a unanimous vote.

The school board did accept a recommendation to approve a contract with the Nashville Police Department to pay off-duty police officers $25 an hour for up to 25 hours a week to provide security for the Central Office in Nashville. The funds would come from a part-time student resource officer position that would be “re-purposed” from Edwards Middle School as the school already has a full-time paid position, Jefferies said. 

Some school board members questioned the need for the expense, which Miller said would come to $18,000 in the current budget. 

“I am struggling with whether this money could be reallocated for other things,” Wilson said.

Board member Wayne Doll questioned whether providing only part-time security was worth it. Jefferies said security is a top concern for Central Office employees and has been since he arrived

Other school board members said they feel the Central Office needs the protection.

“I think this sends a good message to Central Office employees that we love them and care about their safety as well,” said school board member Reginald Silver.

After some discussion, the measure passed with only Wilson opposing it.