|District Multi-Purpose Center, Green Cove Springs (Corner of Walnut Street and Gratio Place)|
|January 28, 2020 - School Board Workshop|
Date: Jan 28 2020 (9:00 a.m.)
|Invocation (Tina Bullock)|
|Call to Order (Present: Janice Kerekes, District 1; Carol Studdard, District 2 (participated via phone); Tina Bullock, District 3; Mary Bolla, District 4; Ashley Gilhousen, District 5 and Superintendent Addison Davis. )|
|1. Review Draft Agenda for Regular School Board Meeting on February 6, 2020|
|2. Operations Presentation (Informational)|
Dr. Michael Kemp, Asst. Superintendent, Operations, introduced team members and presented information to promote awareness of current challenges facing the Operations Department.
Phil Hans, Director of Maintenance, discussed personnel statistics, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, current maintenance trades positions in four salary grades, comparison to local school districts, U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics pay in trades, wage comparison of trades, and the difficulty of recruiting and retaining personnel, largely attributable to compensation. Options to improve by increasing salary versus contracting services were highlighted. Superintendent Davis discussed apprenticeships and student recruitment through paid internships. In prior years, success has been experienced with engaging employees who were students in the district's Career and Technical Education programs but, currently, trades are hiring these students upon graduation. The District's highly experienced employees are approaching retirement, and Operations is facing the challenge of an inability to compete with the market. Restructuring salary schedules is a possible option to overcoming the current obstacle to engagement and retention of employees.
Derald Sweatt, Transportation Director, discussed the difficulty of attracting transportation diesel mechanics, due to the pay scale and current personnel numbers, and existing obligations to maintenance of district vehicles. Department of Education recommends a 20:1 ratio for mechanics. Clay County District Schools' current ratios are 23:1 for buses and 44:1 for all district vehicles. Areas of opportunity exist to create capacity and the ability to comply with state recommendations.
Dr. Kemp also discussed the most recent Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) audit that recommended growing Operations personnel to support district schools. There currently exists the same amount of staffing as in 1995, but with an increased number of schools and more growth projected. Items to consider addressing are the current salary schedule with a focus on industry skilled areas, moving positions requiring professional certifications to a professional versus a support salary scale, increasing capacity to meet state staffing guidelines, and adjusting the current number of allowable years experience on pay scale from 10 to 20 in order to attract and retain qualified employees.
|3. Discuss Board role and options regarding appointment of Interim Superintendent; determine agenda action item for February 6, 2020 Board meeting (item submitted by Janice Kerekes)|
Mrs. Kerekes added this item, having spoken with Bruce Bickner, School Board Attorney, regarding the process for the governor appointing an interim superintendent following the departure of our current elected superintendent. Mr. Bickner recommends revising School Board policy to allow the School Board to have the authority to appoint an interim superintendent until such time as the governor makes his appointment of an interim superintendent. The revision of School Board policy to appoint an interim, pending the governor's appointment, would allow the work of the district to move forward in the event that the governor's action is delayed. The School Board wishes to move forward with a policy change advertisement and subsequent public hearing and approval.
|4. Discuss School Board purchase options for Vystar Building, 2310 Village Square Parkway, Fleming Island, FL. If Board's concensus and interest in purchase is sufficient, give directions to Asst. Superintendent Michael Kemp and School Board attorney as to how to proceed.|
Dr. Kemp, Assistant Superintendent, Operations, presented options for consideration to assist with determining the most fiscally responsible action re: the current state and location of the district/central offices.
Bryce Ellis, Director of Facilities and Planning, indicated that the space utilized currently for the district offices is deteriorating. The maintenance of the district offices is currently costing $500,000. to $1,000,000 annually, the average age of buildings is 60.5 years, and there are 250 unimproved and non-compliant parking spaces. There is currently no room for growth, renovations to existing properties are cost-prohibitive, and the purchase of new property and necessary site work would exceed $20,000,000. The asking price for the Story Center Building (Vystar building) is $13,500,000. and it is appraised at over $16,000,000. Renovation of this property to suit current needs would require an additional $2,000,000. The acquisition of this property would also enable the sale of current buildings to generate revenue.
Discussion ensued concerning the financial capacity to purchase this property, the possibility of negotiating a lower price, the feasibility of using bonded funds, the impact of deferment creating larger and more expensive issues, and the potential impact on the pending sales tax item. A decision was made to add a discussion item to the February 6, 2020 regular meeting agenda to explore completing a financial analysis of funds expended on buildings, projected costs to bring buildings to code, strategies to purchase the Story Center Building, sale of existing buildings, historical requirements/restrictions of current buildings, and the cost to sell and relocate.
|Questions from the Audience|
|School Board Comments|
|Adjournment (10:15 a.m.)|