By Michelle Key
During last week’s meeting of the Lee County School Board, members of the board heard from concerned parent, Dawn Lockhart, regarding malfunctioning air conditioners at East Smiths Station Elementary School. Lockhart addressed the board with her concerns that the lack of air conditioning in several classrooms presented a health issue for the children, especially children with breathing disorders such as asthma that can be exacerbated by hot, humid air.
After Lockhart had addressed her concerns, Marcus Fuller, the assistant superintendent of operations, spoke up explaining that the school had been struck by lightning during a storm the first week of August which had caused damage to approximately 20 of the air conditioning units within the building. Fuller explained that repair personnel had been out to the schools to determine the extent of the damage and that work was already being done to rectify the situation as soon as possible. “It’s probably going to take at least a week to get replacement units or replacement parts for those units,” Fuller said.
The board also heard from Ken Roberts, Chief School Financial Officer, regarding the financial report for June 2018.
Roberts reported that at the end of June which represents 75 percent of the fiscal year, the school system has received 76.5 percent of the anticipated revenue while keeping expenditures below budget, coming in at 72.7 percent. “This is certainly significant. This shows cost restraint and attempts to hold down expenses late in the year,” Roberts said. In the reporting of local revenue, Roberts explained that local revenues are trending upwards. Sales tax in the district were up 4.4 percent from the anticipated budgeted amounts based on the prior years numbers.
In other business the board:
• approved several in-state and out-of-state field trips for Smiths Station High School
• approved an out-of-state field trip for the Loachapoka High School Band to attend that Panama City Beach Music Festival in Panama City, Florida in May 2019.
Lee County School Board meetings are open to the public and are held the second Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the central office located at 410 Society Hill Road in Opelika.
Copies of the school board meeting agendas can be accessed by the public through the district’s website: ww.lee.k12.al.us.