It was almost business as usual at this month’s Decatur County School Board meeting. However, this session ended with a farewell to two of it’s members Tim Stone and Tony Marsh.

“Tim and Tony, you guys will be missed and both of you have been a pleasure to work with,” said Board member Chris Owens. “You guys have left big shoes to fill.”

Both received plaques for their years of dedication as well as much praise from others as they went around the table to say their good-byes. Stone, who was a member for 13 years, decided not to run in the last election and will be replaced by Jill Koehne. Marsh, a four year member, did run but lost to Mark Young. Koehne and Young will be at the January as active members.

Before all the farewells, the Board approved a couple of capital projects, transferred money and approved contracts.

To start off, local architect Hal Kovert presented his findings to the Board about new Boilers for both North and South Elementary schools and HVAC work at North and South high schools.

“I recommend we approve the contract for the addition of a third boiler at both schools,” Kovert explained. “By having three boilers, they will be able to run at 95-to-96 percent efficiency. The added cost now, will be paid back in four or five years in energy savings.”

The winning bid, from Cope Mechanical, was approved by the Board for $144,900 at both schools and work will begin in May and will be finished July 26. The other summer project approved by the Board, is HVAC duct work for the sixth grade wings at both North and South high.

“This isn’t a large project, and will be a second shift job, so the classrooms can still be used while work is being done,” Kovert said.

However this brought up a concern from one member.

“With duct work going on in the classrooms, kids with allergies and asthma have had problems in the past. Will we be seeing this again,” asked member Barb Lecher.

Kovert assured Lecher that new technology and insulation wrapped around the ducts will not contain anything that would trigger problems.

J.E. Mechanical was the winning bidder. At North, the project will cost $114,006 and at South $122,453. The duct work at South wraps around into more rooms which will cost more money to do work on. Work will also be completed by July 26, like the boilers.

Since the year is coming to an end, members voted to clear up accounting records going into 2007 by transferring funds from accounts in area of under-spending to accounts where areas are anticipated for more spending. Such areas funds were transferred from were early retirement, severance money and group insurance to areas of building maintenance, lay coaches and utilities. The total amount transferred was $155,000. The Board also approved transferring $7,000 from the Debt Service Fund to Pension/Severance Bond Fund. The money will be used for cash flow purposes in case of emergencies and will be repaid on June 30.

North Decatur Elementary School will be adding new staff and a special education teacher. County School Superintendent Dr. Robert Cupp explained to the Board how Brittany Bishop came to the school highly recommended and asked for approval to grant her a full-time contract in the Special Education Department. The approval was granted.

Cupp also told the Board a contingent from China would be visiting Indiana in February. The principal of the school Cupp and Bob Hacker visited while visiting Asia, will be spending time in Decatur County.

“We are excited to see him again and show him our schools,” Cupp said. “He did such a great job showing us around, it is only appropriate we do the same for him.”

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