The Henry County School System board of education met Thursday at Grove Tower where the board approved several items including the dismissal of a Henry County High School teacher, awarding of the bid for the field house project at HCHS, the 2019-20 calendar and more.

After the board of education went into executive session, the board came back in regular session and unanimously voted to dismiss Blair Chadwick as the choral director at HCHS.

Chadwick who has directed the Madrigals since the fall of 2010 was suspended Nov. 28, following a report he had “inappropriate conversation” with three of his female students who are members of the Madrigals, which he directs.

Tuesday afternoon, the Tennessee State Board of Education released to The Post-Intelligencer the “director’s report” that Henry County Director of Schools Brian Norton filed Nov. 30 with the state concerning the suspension.

The reports stated that Chadwick was suspended for “inappropriate communication with a student that is non-explicit” involving the following allegations received by the school system.

It also stated that the Henry County Sheriff’s Department is investigating and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services was notified.

In other business, the board of education approved to go with the bid of $525,000 for the completion of the field house expansion project after the facilities and grounds committee presented both bids at Thursday’s meeting.

Norton told the board that the committee, which includes Josh Frey and Jim McCampbell, met Tuesday to discuss the two bid options for the field house project that included base bid one for $791,000 and base bid two for $525,000.

Norton and school system maintenance supervisor John Akers told the board that the project, which was originally budgeted for $383,000 has gone up in price due to the cost of materials going up in price.

Norton told the board that the bid for $791,000 would include the 20 foot expansion on both the north and south ends of the current field house along with replacing around a dozen or more parking spaces that would be lost due to the addition. Then he told the board that the $530,000 bid would only be used to expand the field house, but it would not replace the parking spaces that would be lost due to the expansion. Norton said that if the board decided to replace the parking and go with the $791,000 bid, then some projects like the concession stand and bathroom addition along with converting the current band room into classrooms would have to be eliminated in order for the school system to remain in budget. Norton noted that converting the current band room into classrooms is estimated to cost around $195,000.

“I recommend that we accept base bid 2 for $530,000,” said Frey. “We have enough parking at the high school without replacing those 15 or so parking spaces we’ll lose.”

He continued to say that choosing base bid 2 would allow the school system to stay in the allotted budget that was for the HCHS construction project and it will keep the concession stand and bathroom project in the budget.

Norton told the board that even though construction on Gamlin Gymnasium and the visitors bleachers came in under budget at around $370,000, the band building came in $500,000 over budget so that was why the board had to consider both bids for the field house project in order to remain in budget on the total project.

Board member Jim McCampbell suggested to the board that the school board might want to wait and try to bid the field house project out again later.

“The longer we push back the project, the higher the materials and the project will become,” said Akers.

After further discussion the board approved to go with the bid of $530,000 that would allow the school system to keep the concession stand and bathroom project in the budget. Akers told the board that he expects they will start seeking bids for the concession stand project  sometime in March 2019.

In other updates on the HCHS project, Akers updated the board on the rest of the projects going on at the high school. He noted that he has received positive feedback about the lighting and how evenly the temperature in Gamlin Gym has been after the renovations. Some of the projects that have been slowed due to muddy conditions include the spring sports building and the front entrance at the high school.

Akers said that he hopes to have the springs sports building done by the end of March, so that spring sports like baseball, softball and soccer can start to use the facility. He also said that the drainage problem at Harrelson School has been fixed.

The board voted to grant tenure to 10 Henry County School System teachers on Thursday.

Those include Colby Prosser, John Thomas Hinson and Sandy Lambert, all from Harrelson; Megan Cheek and Katie Hernandez, both from Henry; Shay Armstrong and Allison Smith, both from Lakewood; and Barry Baker, Jessica Lemons and Mercedes Spencer, all from HCHS.  

The board of education also approved the 2019-20 school year calendar. The first day of school will be Aug. 1, 2019, the last day of school will be May 22, 2020, and graduation for the class of 2020 will be May 15, 2020. Fall break will be Oct. 14-18, Christmas break will be Dec. 23- Jan. 2 and spring break will be March 23-27.

Norton noted that the school system will have 11 stockpile days that can be used as make-up days. If the school system exceeds the stockpile days for the 2019-20 calendar year, possible options that the school system can use as make-up days include Presidents Day, the March parent teacher conference day, Good Friday, or the first and/or second day of spring break.

Norton also updated the board about the progression of the boys middle school soccer team which is continuing to move along.

“We have the coaches and we have fifteen players on the team,” said Norton. “We are going to spend $1,565 to cover the cost of the team. The next step is to get the schedules for the spring.”

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