The city and the school board were in negotiation to jointly purchase the CenturyLink building, which the Board’s central office is currently located. The school board planned to occupy one-quarter of the CenturyLink building.
School officials said city officials only offered a long-term lease agreement for needed space in the CenturyLink building.
“We appreciate the lease offer, but we felt it was in our best interest at this time to move towards ownership,” Superintendent Michael Barber said after last night’s board meeting.
City Manager Patrick Draper said Tuesday that the city still plans to move forward with the purchase of the CenturyLink building.
“It is certainly their (BOE) prerogative to go in whatever direction they wish,” Draper said of the BOE decision to purchase the former DHR building. “We do look forward with working with the board in the future.”
Monday morning the St. Clair County Commission approved the sale of the former DHR building to the school board for $125,000.
“We do appreciate the County Commission,” Barber said, adding that the former DHR building is ideal for a central office.
The former DHR building is much bigger than the space the board currently occupies in the CenturyLink building. The board currently occupies about 9,000 square feet of the CenturyLink building, and the former DHR building is 15,000 square feet.
Barber said the building will allow the board to put all of the central office staff under one roof.
The former DHR building was vacated in August 2009, after the facility suffered close to a half-million dollar of damage from fire. The fire was set by an unknown arsonist who was never caught.
The fire damage, which was never repaired, was contained to one wing of the building.
The former DHR building is about 15,000 square feet and has ample parking space around the building.
The property is located inside the city limits of Pell City on Dr. John Haynes Drive.
Barber said their current lease at the CenturyLink building ends March 2014, so time was of the essence.
Barber said he hopes the inside renovation of the former DHR building is completed by March of next year before their lease expires.
Barber said he believes the school board can buy the former DHR property and complete the renovation to the facility without adding anymore long-term debt for the school system.
In other matters, the board:
- Accepted the retirement for Duran North Junior High School teacher Alyson Jackson, effective Oct. 1.
- Approved to hire Dara Lee as an Iola Roberts Elementary School Title I teacher assistant.
- Approved to add the following people to the substitute teachers list: Melanie Fleming, Haley Jimmerson, Kristy McNutt, Lisa Simpson and Melissa Tims.
- Approved a contract with Educational Based Services, Inc as a speech language pathologist from Sept.-Nov.
- Approved the supplement pay for Kimberly Myers as a choreographer for the Pell City High School winter and spring shows and also as a dance/acting class instructor. The Drama Club account will pay for the supplement positions.
- Approved the renewal of the 2013-2014 ARMS General Liability/Errors and Omissions coverage at a cost of $8,421.
- Approved surplus items from the Pell City High School, which includes a lunchroom fryer and tools from the Vo-Ag Department, so those items can be sold.
- Approved the Pell City Lions Club Fall Community Improvement Project for the beautification of the entrance grounds at Walter M. Kennedy Elementary School.
- Approved the 2014 fiscal year budget and salary schedules.
- Announced that the next regularly scheduled board meeting is set for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct 15.