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Track on track: School board approves $1 million in renovations at D-B

Rick Wagner • Feb 9, 2018 at 3:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Roughly $1 million in track renovations for Dobyns-Bennett High School are on track and funded, although because of timing the resurfacing won’t occur before the spring track season.

School system Chief Finance Officer David Frye told the Board of Education Thursday night that the low bid the third time the track project was bid came in at $931,382 for the base bid and two alternates, a fence and a longer jump pit area.

A double high jump alternate included in the first bid would have cost about $150,000 and was not funded. Frye said it was not needed for high school track meets but would be good for larger AAU meets and could be added later. The second bids were rejected because they lacked required paperwork. Baseline Sports won at the third and final bid opening Jan. 25. 

Frye said the hope is lighting improvements can be made in the spring, before a track meet in late April or early May, with track resurfacing — the main part of the project — occurring after track season. The project total, as approved 5-0 by the board, was $1,010,000, including a $866,732 base bid, $33,450 for the fence, $31,000 for the long jump move, $55,883 for a 6 percent contingency and $1,125 miscellaneous. The funding includes taking $85,000 from the General Purpose School Fund’s Unreserved Fund Balance, which Frye said as of June 30 was $5.428 million.

On other matters:

— The board voted 4-0 with one abstaining to approve a contract with architect Jim Wright for a fixed fee of $19,500 to work on a Johnson Elementary roof project, which could be a complete or partial replacement depending on the cost. Board member Karen Reed-Wright abstained because the architect is her husband. The matter was delayed from the January meeting, when Reed-Wright’s not voting meant the proposal would not have enough votes to pass.

— New Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse, who left the Greeneville school system and became Kingsport’s superintendent Feb. 2, said that on his first day he visited every school and all but two principals in the system alongside outgoing Interim Superintendent Dwain Arnold. Moorhouse said his first impression was the diversity of modern and old-style facilities, the latter “not in a bad way,” and murals and other features that give all schools character.

He also cited the passion of principals and pride in their schools, communities and kids.

“It really left an impression on me, the quality of people we have leading our schools,” Moorhouse said.

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