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story.lead_photo.caption Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader High school seniors Seth Hufford and Karla Pena were recognized at the March 8 school board meeting for receiving the Northwest Arkansas Regional Student Career & Technical Leadership Award. Both recipients received the award at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Career Day in February and are eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Northwest Arkansas Community College or a one semester tuition waiver from Northwest Technical Institute upon high school graduation. Pena is a completer in business and family consumer sciences and is involved in FCCLA and FBLA. She will be attending FCCLA nationals in June to compete in the early childhood division. She attended FCCLA nationals as a junior and competed in entrepreneurship. She is a member of the Arvest Junor Bank Board and plans to attend NWACC in the fall to major in business administration. Hufford is a completer in plant and animal science. He is involved in FFA and shows hogs at the county fair through FFA. He will attend NWACC this fall with intentions of transferring to the University of Arkansas after two years to major in poultry science with a minor in agribusiness.

Siloam Springs School District could be getting a new freezer storage building in the future.

School board members approved an architectural contract with BiLD Architects of Fayetteville for the design of a 3,000- square-foot frozen food storage facility, located at 902 S. College St., behind Southside Elementary School.

The school district is hoping to build the new food storage facility at the current maintenance facility, according to Assistant Superintendent Jody Wiggins. He described the facility as a "smaller project" that requires specialized knowledge. The architectural fee will be $8,000.

"Freezer space is very limited at this time," Wiggins said. "We've outgrown our freezer."

The current freezer was inherited from the Springdale School District when the district determined the freezer was past its useful lifespan more than 25 years ago, he said.

"It is time to replace it with something bigger," Wiggins said. "One goal in this is we will have a facility we could drive a forklift into so that we can unload commodities from a commodity truck and drive it into the freezer and store it on a rack as it is."

Currently frozen food is unloaded by bringing it to the back of the truck with a pallet jack. School employees then form a line and pass it down to the freezer.

"The goal is we are going to try to cut down on the manual labor on our part," he said.

In other business, School board members approved a cost agreement with Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation to relocate two electrical lines on the district's recently purchased property on Kenwood Street.

When the school purchased the 30 acres of land about a year ago, there were two electrical lines in place, but Carroll Electric agreed to give up their right of way, Wiggins said. At the time, the company gave a cost estimate of $19,000 for moving the lines. The projected cost has gone up significantly to $41,604, Wiggins said.

New power lines will be installed on the outskirts of the property.

"(The power lines) are there and if we are ever going to build on that property we need them to be gone," Wiggins said.

School board members also approved the purchase of three new school buses during the meeting. The first purchase will be made during the 2017-2018 school year and will be a 47-passenger special needs bus with a lift.

The special needs population in the district is constantly growing and the current buses do not have enough space for students in wheelchairs, according to Steve Avery, transportation director.

The school district received three bids for the new bus, including a bid of $105,736 from Summit Bus Sales for an International Bus, a bid of $101,310 from Midwest Bus Sales Inc., for a Thomas Bus, and a bid of $108,597 from Central State Bus Sales for a Blue Bird Bus.

Avery recommended the mid-priced bid from Summit Bus Sales because it has a Cummins engine and the seat track system is compatible with current buses.

The second purchase will be for two 77-passenger route buses and will be made in the 2018-2019 school year, Avery said. The school district also received three bids on the buses, including a bid of $92,111 from Summit Bus Sales for an International Bus, a bid of $101,675 from Midwest bus Sales Inc., for a Thomas Bus, and a bid of $102,090 from Central Bus Sales for a Blue Bird Bus.

Avery recommended going with the low-bid and purchasing the International Buses from Summit Bus Sales for a total of $184,222. The buses will have air conditioning and cargo storage. Avery said the buses need to be ordered now to be delivered in July of 2018.

The school board took the following additional actions:

• Approved the retirement of Dan Siemans, Southside Elementary School Principal.

• Approved the resignation of Miranda Stephens, high school chemistry teacher.

• Approved the retirement of Marlene Schwerin, middle school English as a second language teacher.

• Approved the resignation of Anthony Saegert, high school French teacher.

• Approved the renewal of administrative contracts for the 2018-2019 school year.

• Approved the transfer of one student from the Gentry School District to the Siloam Springs School District.

• Approved the transfer of two students from the Siloam Springs School District to the Gentry School District.

• Approved the transfer of three students from the Siloam Springs School District to the Fayetteville School District.

General News on 03/14/2018

Print Headline: School Board approves purchase of three buses

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