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Kingsport school board approves more money for D-B track

Rick Wagner • Dec 6, 2017 at 1:59 PM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport school leaders are hoping the second time is a charm when it comes to getting affordable bids on track renovations at Dobyns-Bennett High School.

The Board of Education voted 7-0 Tuesday night to approve Budget Amendment No. 2, the transferring of $89,445 from the 2014 bond funds and $135,555 from the 2016 bond funds to the D-B track project. The total projected cost is $925,000.

Chief Financial Officer David Frye said that the $700,000 set aside for the project is about $225,000 short and that the move still will leave about $1.335 million available for reroofing Johnson Elementary School. An earlier single bid that would have resulted in a total cost of about $1.1 million was rejected, and the new scope of services put a double high jump area as an alternate, not part of the main bid. New lighting is to be installed by mid-March and new bleachers by mid-April, with the new surface application to start after track season, Frye said.

Frye said two or three potential bidders have expressed interest in bidding, and ads begin today in the Kingsport Times-News and on the Kingsport City Schools website.

The board, in its last meeting of 2017, also:

— Approved a bid award of $250,000 from Prairie Farms Dairy for dairy products to be purchased by school nutrition services. The new contract with the current provider will begin Jan. 8 and, according to school nutrition service director Jennifer Walker, will save about $11,000 a year on 11 milk items over the other bid by Mayfield Dairy Farms.

— Approved an agreement to pay $108,407 for an Education Networks of America phone system. The bid is through an opt-in agreement with Metro Nashville Public Schools. A 6 percent contingency of $6,504 also was part of the motion. Frye said the 2009 phone system is hard for the current vendor to repair because of the scarcity of hardware. The total annual cost is $124,000 for the current system, while the new one has a projected annual cost of $123,000. The 12-month contract is renewable for three times for a total of four years, and ENA, also the system’s Internet provider, owns and maintains the cloud servers that run the system, with the school system owning the actual phones. Traditional phone lines provide backup at all schools and recently were put to use with phone outages at Washington and Kennedy elementaries, technology director Scott Pierce said.

— Recognized the D-B competitive marching band for taking sixth place in the recent Bands of America Grand National Championship in Indianapolis. The top 100 bands in the nation competed out of 22,000 nationwide. D-B placed higher than any other band in Class AAA and is the second Tennessee band to make finals at the event and the only Tennessee band to do it twice. Director of bands Lafe Cook said some AAAA bands were from schools twice D-B’s size. In addition, he said four of the five schools that finished better than D-B had free or reduced lunch students at less than 5 percent of the student population, compared to D-B’s percentage of “economically disadvantaged students” of almost 30 percent, according to the most recent Tennessee Report Card.

— Recognized Erin Colhoun, a freshman at D-B, for submitting the artwork chosen for the 2017 KCS Christmas card. She is in Juanita Mitchell’s drawing class at D-B and the daughter of Frederick and Lenore Colhoun.

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