The Midlothian School Board considered, and approved, many improvements to the district’s buildings in an effort to keep up with the rapid growth the area is experiencing.
“We’re currently growing at five to six percent a year,” said Jim Norris, assistant superintendent of finance.
The board also unanimously approved the design and development for a new Midlothian High School baseball, softball, and tennis complex, which will be located on the site of Don Floyd Stadium.
The new design for the Don Floyd Athletic Complex will feature fields with turf, eight tennis courts, a field house with concession stands, a pedestrian plaza, and canopies throughout. Stadium seats will also feature awnings to keep attendees somewhat shaded.
Currently, the project is estimated to cost $11.3 million and is expected to go out for bids in April. Completion of the complex has been set for January 2019.
Norris asked the board for consideration to seek bids for kitchen renovations at Frank Seale Middle School. Norris said that in doing so, the district wouldn’t need more bond money, but could pay for the desired improvements using the food service fund balance that has been accumulating over the years.
While the cafeteria has been changed over time to accommodate more students, the serving lines of the cafeteria remain mostly the same since they were constructed in 1984.
“The serving lines haven’t been changed to accommodate growth,” said Heather Prather, place three board trustee.
Board members also discussed the schematic design for a third middle school, but no action was taken at this time. An order authorizing the issuance of building bonds was also approved by the board as the district gears up to continue with their long-discussed improvements.
Some board members expressed concern over the issuance of 30-year term bonds, but Norris quelled their worries.
“Twenty years will tie our hands for the next round of bond sales,” Norris said. “And a 40-year term is too long and will cause us to end up paying more in the long run. So, we really think we’re right on track with the 30-year term.”
The joint agreement between the district and City of Midlothian received a face-lift which will allow for a city librarian to also work at the library – an action that was unanimously approved by the board.
“We must meet state and public school library standards, and there aren’t very many joint libraries for us to gleam off of,” said Judy Walling, deputy superintendent of the changes to the agreement.
Trustee Tami Tobi added that the changes are an exciting change for the library.
“I like that we don’t have anyone to look to because that means we’re innovative,” Tobi said. “We save taxpayers money too because we share facilities. I’m excited to have two librarians now.”
Twenty-two teachers were also recognized during the meeting as grant recipients for their innovation in their classrooms. Each of these grants impacts more than 120 students on their respective campuses.