North Pike trustees on Thursday night noted good progress, mostly, on its bond-funded construction projects.
Superintendent Dennis Penton said the new upper elementary school, high school band hall and a four-classroom addition at the high school are all on schedule.
“The building projects are coming along well,” he said. “We’ve moved most of the classroom furniture into the upper elementary school, and the students that helped, we fed pizza.”
The move-in took two days, and students that helped one of the days got a free parking pass for next year. Students that helped both days got the parking pass and a free athletic pass.
The band hall is close to completion, Penton said, though project manager Mark Pipper said sound panels for the walls would not be delivered until late July.
While much of the work on the upper elementary building is complete, communications wiring is still proceeding slowly.
“AT&T is still doing what they should have done last year,” Penton said. “AT&T is abosultely the worst company to deal with.”
“I second that,” said board member Etta Taplin.
Penton said different crews work on different aspects of the wiring, which is creating delays because of the need to schedule the various AT&T crews to perfom their tasks.
He said work should begin shortly on renovating and moving to a new office at the lower elementary school and securing the entrance, after contracts were finalized and signed last week.
Board members approved a change order for the high school projects with various items added and deleted that added $1,554.47 to the cost.
More significant was the district’s increase in liability insurance.
With an entirely new school, the upper elementary, coming onto the district’s inventory, the district’s lone liability insurance quote from its current carrier, the Mississippi School Board Association, rose from between $150,000 and $160,000 to $180,567.
The board also failed to get more than one quote for liquid propane gas, because the existing gas company, Ferrellgas, leases the tanks to the district, and other companies don’t want to fill another company’s tanks.
Penton said he would seek costs for several alternatives, including going all electric and buying tanks for the district.
“Can we just buy the tanks that are already there?” trustee Scott Campbell asked.
“That would be the most cost-effective thing to do,” if Ferrellgas will sell, Penton said.
Bids for diesel fuel broke the trend, with three quotes submitted.
Brumfield Oil now holds the contract, but Buffalo Services submitted the lowest quote for the next contract period, at 15 cents above “rack price,” or what Buffalo pays to pick up fuel.
Craddock Oil also submitted a quote.
The board elected to accept Buffalo’s quote for a three-year period.