South Callaway searches for bids, projects totaling to $5.5 million

The South Callaway Board of Education gave clearance to Superintendent Kevin Hillman to search for bids for facility upgrades totaling an estimated $5.5 million.

Board member Ryan Arrowood read his motion, which the board approved, from his cell phone.

This allows for the bidding search for a multi-purpose building, additional football bleachers, centralized locker room and concession stand, football and track lights, new scoreboards for football, softball and baseball fields, additional asphalt and concrete paving repairs, additional entrance gates and fencing, instillation of security doors, turf for the football field and improvements to the softball and baseball fields.

Projects will be paid for with the school’s capital improvement fund.

“These are areas we haven’t identified over a period of time,” Arrowood said.

Without the go-ahead for formal bidding, Hillman said he experienced a “hard time getting hard numbers” on the price tags. He added that some of the projects have been discussed for the past decade.

The board also gave well wishes to Early Childhood Education Principal Jill Brown, who will leave South Callaway for the principal position at Rock Bridge Elementary School in Columbia. Brown is a Columbia resident, and said it was a tough decision to leave South Callaway.

“It was hard,” Brown said. “I love it down here.”

Hillman said Brown has done “an awful lot of work transforming the curriculum,” and has collaborated well with Elementary Principal Corey Pontius to do so. The position has not yet been filled, but Hillman said the board will hold a special meeting next week to find a replacement.

Board members and Athletic Director Tony Brandt discussed the option of providing golfers with transportation to and from practice, which is at Tanglewood Golf Course in Fulton.

Students are currently responsible for finding transportation, whether that’s from a family member, friend or teammate.

Hillman said this presents a potential liability for the district, and when he contacted the Missouri School Boards Association, he said he was advised that anything presenting a legal issue is a “red flag” because the activity is school sponsored.

Board member Kit Glover said the transportation issue could be a “moot point” by next year depending on golf participation and ages of the golfers. After some discussion, the board decided to revisit the topic next school year and make a decision in time for golf season.

South Callaway School Board incumbents Glover, Mark Laughlin and Brent Woods were again sworn in as members.

Glover was elected president of the board again. Current vice president Greg Kimminau was elected to his position with a 4-3 vote. Arrowood was also up for the role. Woods was also elected to maintain his role as Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) delegate and board member Heidi Powers was voted to be the MSBA alternate delegate.

Joyce Mealy, board secretary, was selected to keep her role.

In other news, Hillman announced that South Callaway is a finalist for a grant that would provide the district with a career counselor who would prepare student for college and workforce. He also said the district is in a better spot financially than last year by $650,000.

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