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Lee schools declare PMS property surplus to facilitate sale to VDOT

April 3rd, 2007 11:27 pm by WALTER LITTRELL



JONESVILLE - The Lee County School Board on Monday voted to declare 6 acres of property at Pennington Middle School as surplus to facilitate the sale of the land to the Virginia Department of Transportation for use in a future Route 58 bypass project.


The board also agreed to provide a statement of insurance and authorized Superintendent Fred Marion and/or the board chairman to draft and sign other necessary documents for the sale.


The board entered into an agreement with VDOT on the property last August. The deal includes payment of $115,805 from VDOT to the Lee County Board of Supervisors for the property. VDOT also has agreed to pay for "functional replacement" of the present PMS classroom/athletic facility, which includes the existing agriculture building and field house, baseball field, walking track, restrooms serving the football field, stadium columns, and fencing around the football field.


Marion said it is not yet known how much these facilities will be impacted by the road project.


At the recommendation of the Virginia School Boards Association, the board approved a policy saying it will not enter agreements with non-public schools to provide transportation for their students. Marion said the last session of the Virginia General Assembly approved a "Share the Ride" bill, which permits, but does not require, local school boards to enter into agreements with private schools to provide transportation for private school students.


During his enrollment report, Marion advised the board that as of March 30, there were 3,455 students enrolled countywide. That represents a loss of 13 students from the last month and a decline of 59 from the same period last year. The superintendent said the budget is built on a projected enrollment of 3,500 students but added that average daily membership as of March 31 was 3,494, so the lower number of students will have minimal impact on the budget.


In other matters, the board recognized Angela Turley, a third-grade teacher at Flatwoods Elementary who was recently honored by the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics as the Outstanding Math Teacher of the Year at the Elementary Level.


The board also heard a request from Lee County Education Association President Debbie Jessee to offer a flexible benefits plan for employees. The plan would allow employees to choose to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. The board agreed to consider the request and study the plan further before taking action.


Additionally, the board approved a new coaching supplement pay schedule, agreed to extend bids for food service from Dec. 31 until June 30 in order to match the contract length to the school year, awarded a bid for paint to Myers Home Center of Jonesville, and appointed Brenda Sprinkle, Deidre Fisher-Taylor and Martha Davis to the Special Education Advisory Committee.


The meeting ended with a closed session to discuss personnel and litigation and consult with legal counsel.

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