Kingsport BOE recommends buying property near schools

Rick Wagner • Apr 17, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Proposals to start the purchase of a new phone system for city schools, renovate Sevier Middle School, and buy properties near Jefferson and Lincoln elementary schools got a thumbs-up Thursday night from the Kingsport Board of Education.

However, the proposals also must get approval from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen before being implemented.

The BOE approved the two bids and two purchases during a 3½-hour meeting Thursday during which the main focus was the recommendation of a $59.07 million operations budget.

The budget — which reinstates a proposed cut of six related arts Spanish teachers from the elementary schools — seeks more than $1.75 million in city funding, although $710,000 can be considered one-time, non-recurring and thus not be subject to the maintenance of effort requirements.

That would increase the city’s annual operational budget from the current $8.7 million to about $9.7 million.

The BOE also recommended a self-supporting food services budget of $2.96 million; a federal projects budget of almost $5.03 million, including almost $1.3 million in federal stimulus funding; a special projects budget of $1.39 million; and a five-year capital improvements plan that includes $3 million for a new Central Office facility in 2010-11 and $7.5 million for additional middle school classrooms in 2011-12.

The BOE on Thursday:

•Awarded a phone system contract to Black Box Network Services, which has an office in Johnson City. The board accepted its bid of $88,211.41 but funded it with an added 5 percent contingency, bringing the appropriation to $92,612.

Of that, $15,471 will be part of the cost of the phone system for the new John Adams Elementary to open this fall, and $72,741 will be for a core call management switch system located at Dobyns-Bennett High School but to serve the whole system. All told, the company bid just short of $299,000 on a four-phase system to be done over two or three fiscal years, with prices to be held at the bid level for two years.

•Awarded a contract for renovation of the Sevier Middle School band room and construction of a new entrance and storage area to Trademark Construction of Virginia. The winning bid of $505,400 for a 150-day project completion was funded with that amount plus a $30,350 contingency of 6 percent. The entrance work is $49,600 of the project.

•Recommended the purchase of a house at 1316 Summer St. near Lincoln Elementary for $77,000, compared to an appraisal of $75,000, and recommended the purchase of a house at 2210 Overlook Road near Jefferson Elementary for $63,000, compared to an appraisal of $60,000. Both are part of a series of land purchases near those two schools that may be used for parking or other school uses.

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