Board of Education approves extension to Superintendent’s contract 

MCS interested in expansion and mandating of seatbelts on buses

CARTHAGE – The Moore County Schools Board of Education met Monday, August 14, with a few budgetary matters as well as an update on the Superintendent’s contract on the agenda. 

The first action item the board approved was the purchase of three new activity buses from White’s IC Bus at the price of $130,758 per bus.  

According to the plan presented by Assistant Superintendent for Operations Jenny Purvis, two of the buses would be purchased with ESSER funds, and the third bus will be funded through Transportation 706 funds. 

“We’re moving forward with the purchase of three activity buses to help support our aging fleet,” said Superintendent Tim Locklair. “We’ve discussed that our activity buses are not just used for our athletic programs, but certainly our performing arts programs as well as field trips that our students attend.” 

In addition to the approval of the purchases, the board also approved the fitting of each bus with seat belt restraints, an extra cost of $10,000 per bus. 

“[Seatbelts] are recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board,” said Chair Robert Levy. “Back in 2018, after a Tennesee bus accident, they began recommending that seatbelts be placed on buses. I’ve always said that the law of physics is not suspended when you’re on a bus as opposed to being in a car, and I don’t think there is anyone here that would ever allow their child to be in a car without a proper restraint. 

“I don’t think we have the money to put seatbelts in all of our yellow buses and our activity buses in one fell swoop, but I do think what we can do, especially in the policy committee, is as we acquire buses, to put seatbelts on those buses as we acquire them and, in a few years, all of our buses will have seatbelts. That is a practical approach.” 

Along with the decision, the board committed to discussing and coming up with a policy to mandate the wearing of seatbelts on buses for students as well as support for administration for potential disciplinary actions related to the adherence to these future policies. 

The board then approved an amendment to the Superintendent’s contract. 

“The Superintendent was hired on for a four-year contract which is the maximum we can give under law for any Superintendent,” Levy said. “The board is very pleased and very appreciative of the efforts Dr. Locklair has made with regard to our schools. We want to show our appreciation in at least one way, which is that we can extend his contract for one year.” 

Locklair’s contract will now go through August 14, 2027. 

The board then finally approved the awarding of the bid for gym modernizations and renovations at Cameron Elementary, Highfalls Elementary and Westmoore Elementary to H.M. Kern Corporation. 

“H.M. Kern completed renovations including HVAC, windows, lighting and replacing exterior siding on Cameron Park Elementary in Orange County as well as renovation and modernization of locker rooms at Northwood High School in Chatham County, and they are currently constructing a new Central Services building for Harnett County Schools,” Purvis said. 

The bid offer by H.M. Kern amounted to $2,616,000, which will be paid for by the County Bond Premium funds. According to Purvis, the final cost is also only $155,000 over the original pre-bid estimate. 

The Moore County Schools Board of Education will next meet September 11. 

By Ryan Henkel

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