Board to host forums

Published 1:27 am Wednesday, February 4, 2009

By Staff
Consultant hired to conduct searchfor superintendent
Staff Writer
The Beaufort County Board of Education decided Tuesday to host three forums for community input on the school system’s search for a new superintendent.
The forums, one to be held in each attendance district, will be hosted by board members who live in that district. The preliminary plan is to conduct each forum in the auditorium of the high school serving each attendance district.
Board Chairman Robert Belcher said forums have worked well in the past.
The board also formally approved a contract for Pamela Daw, hired by the board to conduct the search. Daw will be paid $6,500 and for search-related expenses.
After the meeting, Belcher said Daw’s proposal was cheaper than one from the North Carolina Association of School Boards, which wanted $8,000 and search-related expenses. He also said Daw’s expenses will be lower because she lives in the area and won’t need a motel room that someone from outside the area would need when in the county to perform search-related work.
The board approved advertising the forums, made some small changes to the application prospective superintendents will fill out and discussed options for surveying the community.
The board decided a bubble-based survey will work better than a free-form questionnaire.
In other business, the board discussed shuffling construction projects after staff discovered the 7-percent fees charged by architects hadn’t been included in the budget.
The board gave Finance Director Laurie Modlin authority to negotiate with contractors a delay in repairs to Washington High School’s hot-water loop so the project straddles fiscal years.
The other major project on the table is a new field house for Northside High School.
Belcher explained the hot-water loop repairs won’t be completed before the end of heating season, even if the contractor starts immediately. The board hopes that by negotiating the delay, it can avoid rebidding the contract.
The board also heard that the initial bid for the former educational technology building is $170,000. An upset-bid process will be used to solicit higher bids. Under that process, a bid may be upset by a higher bid within 10 days. If a bid stands for 10 days, it may be accepted by the board.
If the building is sold this year, the revenue from that bid could be used to fund the construction projects, Belcher said.
Several smaller projects also could be put off to make funds available, Modlin said.