By Donna Williamson
Opelika Observer

Board members approved the purchase of new band uniforms for the Opelika High School Spirit of the South Marching Band during the March meeting of the Opelika City Schools’ Board of Education.
The board approved the band uniform bid of $74,597.50 from Fruhauf of Wichita, Kan. even though it was approximately $1,000 higher than the lowest bid. Kenneth Burton, assistant superintendent, explained to those present that the board has the right to offer the bid to the product of best value.
Dr. Mark Neighbors, superintendent, said that Fruhauf offered a uniform and hat box that were more durable than the samples provided by the lowest bidder. “Fruhauf’s uniform will have double stitched seams and the hat box will have additional reinforced stitching,” Neighbors said. “This uniform will be very lightweight and band students can take it off without having to unzip it from the back.”
According to Neighbors, the Lions Club will contribute to the purchase, which will leave the school system paying approximately $37,000 of the total. Neighbors added that it has been 10 years since the Spirit of the South has had new uniforms.
During the meeting, Katie Murray, a secondary resource teacher, gave an update on Virtual School.
“We have chosen APEX Learning as our software and we have come up with an initial proposal,” Murray said.
The board also approved a recommendation from Neighbors to leverage $100,000 of public school funds revenue annually for 20 years to participate in Alabama Public School and College Authority capital pool bonds. According to Neighbors, this leverage should provide an approximate 1.3 to 1.4 million dollars for immediate capital expenditures.
In other business the board:
-Approved a decrease in the state per mile travel reimbursement rate for the use of personal cars
-Approved the revised credit recovery guidelines for Opelika City Schools
-Approved a trip to Nashville, Tenn. for Opelika High School HOSA students to compete at the National Leadership Conference June 20-26.
Approved trips to Austell, Ga. for Opelika High School Mu Alpha Theta members and Opelika High School engineering and physics students to attend Math and Science Day at Six Flags Over Georgia on May 13.
-Approved a trip to Atlanta, Ga. for Opelika Middle School eighth graders, as their incentive for the year, to the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke, and Varsity on May 20.