Bryant School District construction on task

Bryant School Board approved a rezoning plan for Hill Farm Elementary School in its regular meeting late Monday.
According to Richard Stipe, project manager, construction on the new elementary school, located at Reynolds Road and Hill Farm Road, is on schedule. "We have a footprint, plumbing, electrical and concrete slabs. There is steel up in some areas and one wing is framed," Stipe reported.
Renovation construction for Salem Elementary begins this week, and the slab has been poured for the new kindergarten building at Springhill Elementary, according to Stipe. The new high school, slated to open for students and teachers this fall, is also nearing completion.
"Heat is on in parts, most of the glass is in, and floors are stained," Stipe said. "The mock-up classrooms will be finished very soon, and Mr. McGohan (Don McGohan, assistant superintendent of human resources) will be ordering furnishings. I am pleased with the timeline."
In financial news, the board approved the annual, required audit report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, conducted by an independent accounting firm, Hudson Cisne & Co. There were no indications of problems, issues or material findings of any kind with district financial and accounting operations reported for 2010-2011. The board also approved the six-year, districtwide academic facilities master plan.
The board heard from students as well.
Student Senate President Lauren Lucas reported that the student government has been busy with plans to work at the Rice Depot, serving lunch to the cafeteria staff, providing "goody bags" for the swim team and assisting media staff in collecting overdue books.
Additionally, Collegeville Elementary students in Jillian Martin's third-grade class shared a video they produced expressing gratitude to the school board members for their dedication and service, as well as engraved plaques and framed portraits bearing the likeness of each member.
Gifted and talented students from Collegeville were recognized for their success in the Benton Invitational Chess Tournament.
In the third- and fourth-grade division, Jonathon Hall earned first place; Will Hanson, second place; and Austin Cook, fourth place.
In the fifth-grade division, Martin Ramirez finished third; Bryan Collins, sixth; Clay McElyea, eighth; and Thomas Bullington, tenth.
Teachers Regina Prothro, Jean Pamplin and Donna Harris coached the winning team.
In personnel matters, the district will begin seeking a principal for Hill Farm Elementary. The position is scheduled to be posted this week.
Prior to adjourning, the board entered into executive session for nearly two hours to discuss resignations and employment.
After reconvening in public session, the board unanimously approved all certified and classified resignations, classified new hires and the extension of Superintendent Randy Rutherford's contract.
Certified resignations included Holly Caddy and Mita Joshi. Classified resignations were accepted from Susan Bailey, Tammy Carter, Keith Dale, Phillip Prothe and Mark Thomas. Sonya Sanders and DeAnna Ward are new employees in the district.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the district's Professional Development Center.