Caroline County High School renovations

The School Board chairwoman has identified a few issues to correct with the Caroline High renovation.

There’s a frosted glass panel in the bathroom door in the new administrative suite at Caroline High School, and it’s one of a few problems School Board Chairwoman Nancy Carson sees with an ongoing renovation there.

“That makes no sense to me,” she said at the board meeting Wednesday. “Why would there be a window in a bathroom door? Can that door be used elsewhere?”

The high school is in the middle of a roughly $20 million renovation project. The administrative suite, main entrance and gym are the big-ticket items that have been completed so far.

Carson said she visited the high school recently and finds that work there does not compare favorably with the $4 million renovation at Madison Elementary School.

“Madison is gorgeous,” she said. “It’s the cornerstone and standard we’d want to hold everything up to going forward. The high school is nice but nowhere near as nice.”

Carson said she found doorways at the high school that were not completely painted and quarter-inch gaps in the tiled floor.

“That’s not acceptable,” she said. “I want Caroline to have what Madison has.”

Geoffrey Honan, the school system’s maintenance supervisor, took note of her concerns and said there there is still a “punch list” of items at the high school that need to be addressed.

Carson’s only suggestion for Madison Elementary is to install blinds over the glass windows at the front of the school for safety reasons.

“The people in there are kind of sitting ducks,” she said.

Carson, the Mattaponi District representative, was elected chairwoman in an unanimous vote early in the meeting and Port Royal District’s Tinka Harris was elected vice chairwoman.

J.D. Martin, director of finance, presented finalized compensation and budget priorities for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1.

At the top of the compensation priority list is a step increase for all eligible employees. The second priority is moving all bus drivers to a higher pay grade level, which would raise the starting hourly wage from $10.64 to $12.92. The third is moving all paraprofessionals to a higher pay grade level, with a starting hourly wage of $9.85, a 49-cent increase.

The total amount of all proposed budget requests is $2,469,009.

The School Board will hold a budget work session with a public hearing on Jan. 23 at 4:30 p.m.

The board also approved seeking bids for a fiber network for the school system and a similar service for the Caroline Public Library.

Adele Uphaus–Conner: 540/735-1973

auphaus@freelancestar.com

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