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Renovations take center stage at BOE

DEMOPOLIS &8212; In what was an otherwise routine board meeting, new developments concerning several expansion projects brought good news before the end of the year.

At Westside Elementary School, the classroom expansion is expected to be completed by Jan. 4. Pending a final inspection, Westside Principal Connie Brown said the first of a two-stage move-in would begin on Jan. 7. The second phase will take place on Feb. 15.

Both dates coincide with teacher development days when students will not be present and moving will not disrupt classes.

At the high school, Superintendent Wayne Vickers said final plans for both the stadium and a classroom expansion have been delivered to the district. Both projects are expected to be bid out in January.

Vickers said the classroom expansion should be ready for the start of the fall semester next year. The stadium, however, will not be ready until later in the fall football season. Vickers said the delay on the stadium is due mainly to state department policy that requires more time to meet all requirements.

In other action, the board:

Increased the pay scale for substitute teachers. The new pay scale will pay $55 per day for regular substitutes, $65 per day for degreed substitutes and $85 per day for long-term degreed teachers.

The board, by passing the increases, expects to keep the district competitive for substitute teachers.

Approved an $850,000 short-term loan to fund an early payroll. The loan will be paid off immediately after the district receives its payroll allocation from the state on Dec. 28.

Passed an amendment to their budget that includes changes in federal funding and the addition of several grants.

Heard a report from Vickers about the creation of a Policy Review Committee. The committee, which will be made up of board members, administrators and teachers, will look at district policies in an attempt to streamline them.