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Board votes on roof, front office personnel

The Selma City School Board approved a change order for renovations to C.H.A.T. Academy and Byrd Elementary, and approved the job descriptions and salary schedule for central office employees Thursday night.

“We want to do what is right for Selma City Schools,” said Superintendent Austin Obasohan. “We want to do what is right for the children.”

The change order calls for replacement of a 63-by-68 foot section of the auxiliary building roof at C.H.A.T. Academy instead of the original 25-by-25 foot section. This will increase the original cost by $95,339.

Ray Mathiews, coordinator of auxiliary services, said he is still waiting to see if insurance will pay for part or all of the renovation since the damage was caused by fire.

The other change order will replace rotten wood on 12 windows and rotted out hardwood floors in Byrd Elementary School’s computer lab. The cost of the original bid will increase by $8,629.48

Obasohan’s plan to restructure central office will cut four jobs and save more than $341,000 in annual salaries and benefits.

School Board President Barbara Stapp-Hiouas said administrative salaries need streamlining. If not, she said the Board is failing students.

“We need to have money in our classrooms,” she said.

Obasohan traveled to Lowndes County Thursday to study how that school system restructured its office. After his visit, he said he believes the board made the right decision.

Board member the Rev. Coley Chestnut said it the board needs to continue to plan ahead.

“We are going to be in a deep downturn in our economy, which means this thing could go on and on and on,” he said.

Roderick West was also sworn in as a board member Thursday. He immediately assumed his duties.