New quotes for gym repairs to save Moore County Schools over $6 million

Board of Education approves endorsement to add NC State Salute to curriculum 

WEST END — The Moore County Schools Board of Education met Monday, March 13, with multiple endorsements and financial requests on the agenda. 

The board recognized McDeeds Creek and Pinehurst Elementary Schools for their national recognition as model Professional Learning Communities.

“Professional learning communities recognize the key to improved learning for students is ongoing, job-embedded learning for the adults that serve those students,” said board member Ken Benway. “The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to focus on learning, build a collaborative culture, and create a results orientation. Schools are recognized based on strict criteria, including a demonstration of commitment to PLC concepts. Implementation of these concepts for at least three years and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. McDeeds Creek Elementary and Pinehurst Elementary are two of only three schools in the state, and roughly 250 schools nationwide, to earn this recognition.”

Superintendent Dr. Tim Locklair also gave recognition to two new members of the administration, Dr. Quinetta Pratt, who is the new principal of Southern Pines Elementary, and Jamie Synan, the Executive Officer for Academics and Student Support Services.

“Dr. Pratt comes to us with extensive experience,” Locklair said. “She began her time as principal of Southern Pines Elementary School in February, and we’re so excited to have her leading Southern Pines Elementary. She comes to us after being a successful principal at two other schools as a district leader, and we’re already seeing her impact at Southern Pines Elementary School.

“Ms. Synan joins us as our new Executive Officer for Academics and Student Support Services in Moore County Schools. Ms. Synan was a successful principal in Scotland County and then served as their Executive Director of Student Support Services and most recently as their Chief Academic Officer.”

The board approved three gym renovation projects for Cameron, Highfalls, and West Moore with a revised scope of work for a total cost of $2,461,000.

“The original scope of work for these three gyms that the previous board had passed was for $8.1 million,” said Vice Chair David Hensley, who had openly denounced the previous renovation plan due to its cost. “We revised the scope of work, and what we voted on is a scope of work that is $2.4 million or a 70% savings. We requoted another project, and we had similar savings, and that was numerous flat roofs throughout Moore County Schools. There were six or eight of them, and again, we saved about 70% off of what the previous scope of work and previous quote were.

“We are going through and having requoted all the projects that were approved by the previous school board that have not yet been started.”

The repairs include roofing, fascia, flashing, gutters, downspouts, electrical systems, air conditioning, toilets, windows, wood decking, and the tearing down of the old steam heating systems and replacing them with all-new HVAC in each gymnasium.

“It is my hope that with these savings, we are going to renovate two more gyms and get rid of trailers in an entire school,” Hensley said. “So we’re going to get five gyms done, plus get an entire school built with brick and mortar seating capacity for 200 students for what the previous board was going to spend on three gyms. This is real savings brought to you by a central office and a school board that is focused on getting good value for the taxpayer’s money.”

The board then endorsed the Testing Re-administration Plan, which will allow students who failed an EOC or EOG but may have otherwise passed the course to take summer remediation and then be able to retest upon completion of the remediation and the purchase of Maintenance Vehicles – two trucks and two vans – for $246,162.

“Moore County Schools has not purchased any new vehicles outside of buses since 2017,” Hensley said. “Some of these vehicles have over 300,000 miles on them. 59% of the fleet has over 200,000 miles, and 71% of the fleet has over 150,000 miles.”

The board also endorsed bringing the Scripps Spelling Bee Competition back to Moore County Schools for the 2023-2024 school year and a plan to add learning of the State Salute to North Carolina’s flag to the school curriculum.

“North Carolina is one of 17 states that has a salute to the state flag, and our salute is 17 words long,” said board member Philip Holmes. “I think there’s some value in having it incorporated somewhere in our education system. I’m not saying that every class has to have a flag and salute it and all that, but I think somewhere in our school system, we should have a flag. We’re supposed to have flags from our representative, but that hasn’t happened yet. But I think North Carolina is a great state, and I think we need to have pride in our state, and I think those 17 simple words have value.”

The Moore County Schools Board of Education will next meet April 17.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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