The Grove School Board learned this week the school’s Performing Arts Center is in the last stages of construction.

”It’s really close to the end, but there is still a lot of little things,” said Dana Boynton with the Tulsa-based architectural firm Boynton, Williams and Associates said during the Tuesday, June 13 meeting.

Grove voters passed a $15.77 million, 10-year bond issue in 2015 to build a $12 million auditorium that is also outfitted with a 5,100 square foot storm shelter. 

Architectural consultants are set to do an inspection on June 26 and a theater consultant will be on site June 29 and 30, Boynton said, with construction cleanup expected to begin next week. 

Grove Superintendent Sandy Coaly said an open house for the Performing Arts Center will be held sometime in August after school starts.

“The seats are going in and the striping is down on the parking lot,” Coaly said of the on-going construction.

Other business

The board also approved by a 4-0 vote to raise the adult lunch and breakfast prices by a quarter. 

Board member Jerry Crossley was not in attendance.

The move comes after a recent audit of the food program showed the school needed to charge the additional quarter, according to Coaly.

The new prices for the adult meals are $2.25 for breakfast and $3.75 for lunch.

The board also approved three new policies, two dealing with the school’s lunch service. Those new policies state that an high school student with over 30 unpaid charges cannot play sports.

“We will work with the student and the family to allow the student to play if some of the charges are taken care of,” Coaly said. 

The other policy provided for “no shaming” a student who receives free or reduced lunches.

“We will never shame our children,” Coaly said.

In addition, a Wellness Policy was updated which will allow the city to apply for grants. 

“This helps us help the community,” Coaly said.

The board also approved changes to the school’s handbooks, including adding a cafeteria policy and aligning the middle school and high handbooks.

Employment issues

The board approved hiring Jaclyn Taylor, Haley Skiles, Martha Neider and Abby Harris as elementary teachers.

Other hires include:

• Alan Palesano, a one-hour adjunct teacher at the Upper Elementary campus.

• Melissa Halling-Dawes, middle school teacher.

• Justin Teel, assistant high school boys’ basketball coach.

• Dave Roberts, Safety Director/E-rate Coordinator for three hours a day.

• Dale Medders, a part-time Technology Director.

• Jeff Haynes, Performing Arts Center Manager.

• Shelby Rhatigan and Donald Tatitz as classroom-teaching assistants.

• Alan Wilson and Alexis Turner, as full-time night custodians.

The board also approved transferring Kim Aposhian from teacher assistant to a paraprofessional teacher assistant and transferring Karen Innocenti from high school in-school-suspension to maintenance secretary/custodian. Paige Yarborough, an upper elementary teacher was transferred to an Indian Education elementary position and Kristi Collington was hired as as Indian Education Coordinator.

Financial news 

In financial business, the school board approved to renew lease agreements with Bank of Grove for the Administration Building, which has a May 15, 2019 maturity date, and the Turf field, which has an August 1, 2024 maturity date and with Grand Savings Bank for buses, which has a December 16, 2020 maturity date. 

Mike Thompson with Grove Insurance Associates updated the board on its insurance coverage.

The premium, he explained, increased to $201,500 due to the addition of the Performing Arts Center.

“There was going to be an increase,” Thompson said. “Without the addition of the new building, the premium would have increased to from $165,600 to $174,000.” 

The board voted to reject the May 24 bid on Chromebooks and accepted the June 6 bid from Beasley Technology, Inc. for $24,605 for touchscreen Chrome books.

Other bids accepted from Beasley Technology were Microsoft Desktop Education license and software, Microsoft Windows Server Standard Edition license and software, Microsoft System Center Standard Edition license and software bids for $11,965 and an Aerohive AP- an access point device for $32,890. 

Coaly said the expenses are for upgrades and the school is spending bond money on the technology services.

Other contracts or agreements approved were with Precision Testing Laboratories, Inc., Weaver Drug Testing Lab Service and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

An Athletic Broadcast Agreement with KGVE 99.3 radio station was approved by a 3-0 with board member Terry Jones abstaining.

The board also approved:

• A three-year statutory waiver/deregulation for the Upper Elementary Librarian and for the Middle School Librarian.

• The Professional Development Plan.

• Renewing memberships to Oklahoma State School Board Association, the Oklahoma Public Schools Unemployment Compensation Accountant with OSAG as Worker's Compensation Company.

• The renewal of the Sublease Agreement dated July 1, 2015 between the school and Delaware County Educational Facilities Authority for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.