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Board approves final payment on new elementary

The Bonne Terre Elementary School opened in August of 2004. A year later, the North County school board has approved making the final payment on the school.

During the school board meeting Thursday night, Superintendent Dr. Terry Gibbons said they waited that long to make the final payment because of the problems they had with the sprinkler system going off.

Gibbons told school board members that contractors have adjusted the heating outlets in every room so that the heat won’t blow directly on the sprinkler head.

&#8221There is no guarantee it won’t happen again,“ Gibbons said. &#8221… Legal counsel has advised to go ahead and pay the final payment.“

Gibbons said that the roof problems have also been corrected.

&#8221We really have no reason to continue to hold it,“ he said.

Allen Baranovic voted against making the payment while the others present, Keith Bannister, Lisa Umfleet, Charlie Farr, and Janice Neubrand voted in favor of it.

In other matters, Assistant Superintendent Mike Henderson said the number of students riding buses regularly is up 120 from last year. He said 2,482 of the 3,100 students ride the bus at least once a week.

He believes the number is higher this year because of gas prices.

Also during the meeting, there was a lot of discussion about the &#8221E lunch“ or final lunch of the day at the high school.

Paul Williams, a teacher and a member of the student improvement committee, said the cafeteria is running out of the food advertised and students are not getting the food on time. He said it is not the cafeteria workers’ fault but it is a problem that is affecting student learning.

&#8221It is a problem,“ he said. &#8221I don’t have a solution.“

Gibbons said he knows of only two solutions – do a lunch count every morning or just produce more food and have more waste. He said they need to come up with a plan.

School officials said more students are eating school lunches this year. The cafeteria prepares five entrees each day. Each lunch hour lasts 22 minutes.

In addition, the elementary school MAP scores were discussed, an audit report was approved, as well as budget amendments for 2005-2006.

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