First day of school

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2007

Selma BOE hears costs on new, renovated Selma High

By victor inge

The selmatimesjournal

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The Selma City Board of Education held its first regular meeting of the year following the first day of school and one of the first orders of business was the passing of the gavel to John Williams, the new board chairman.

Ben Givan, the outgoing chairman, was praised for his leadership over the past two years.

School officials heard a presentation by Leo Barken of Volkert & Associates, and engineering firm hired to conduct a physical assessment of Selma High School. Barken gave board members three scenarios.

To renovate the existing structure at Selma High would cost an estimated $20.6 million, Barken said. A new school could cost an estimated $43.7 million. Engineers said the cost of maintenance of a renovated structure and a new facility would be &8220;about the same,&8221; and they would have the same life expectancy. (See Sunday’s edition of The Selma Times-Journal for an in-depth story on the proposal for a new high school.)

Selma City Schools students were back in class Thursday, most them familiarizing themselves with new surroundings.

The faculty and students at Meadowview Elementary celebrated showing school pride through a sign that greeted parents and students. It boasted another year of making 100 percent of its goals toward Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Students at Selma Middle CHAT Academy may have to wait a few weeks before physical education classes can have the gym. It is being repaired following a fire over the summer.

School officials also heard a presentation from Dr. Byron Nelson of N&P Educational Associates, Inc., who have been hired to conduct a national search for a superintendent. Nelson said his firm would &8220;deliver five candidates,&8221; and costs would not exceed $6,500.

Nelson will be in contact with Coley Chestnut, who has named to chair the personnel board.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Verdell L. Dawson reported the system’s enrollment following the first day of school was 3,497 students. She said the system is currently adequately staffed, however, additional students are expected to enroll and additional staffing may be required. She estimates the total enrollment to be &8220;around 4,000 students.&8221;