STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON MARCH 30, 2004
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 5:00 p.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building. It was a joint meeting with the Henderson County Board of Public Education and School Officials for the purpose of discussing school facility needs.
Present were Chairman Grady Hawkins, Vice-Chairman Larry Young, Commissioner Bill Moyer, Commissioner Charlie Messer, Commissioner Shannon Baldwin, County Manager David E. Nicholson, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn. Also present were Superintendent of Schools Tom Burnham and the following School Board members: Chairman Ervin Bazzle, Melissa Mauer, Betsy Coppolilio, Ken Butcher, Jane Orwoll, and Debbie Reemes.
Also present was Amy Brantley, videotaping the meeting.
Absent was Public Information Officer Chris S. Coulson.
Chairman Hawkins called the meeting to order at 5:03 p.m. He reminded everyone that there was a joint facilities meeting held in January with both boards. At that time a number of issues were looked at. The immediate needs looked at in January dealt with Hillandale, Dana, and Edneyville with the major project being the renovations to Hillandale Elementary School. New information and consideration has surfaced to the Board of Education. He asked Chairman Bazzle to update those in attendance.
PRESENTATION OF FACILITIES NEEDS
Chairman Bazzle thanked the Board of Commissioners for holding this joint meeting between the two boards. He stated that at the end of the last meeting they were left with the idea of two major projects to tackle:
1. Dana Elementary School – growth has occurred in that district, basically in the crescent that runs from Upward School, around Upward School, all the way up to the other side of Fletcher.
2. Hillandale Elementary School – he stated that the architects and engineers had looked at Hillandale. At that time they were looking at doubling the size of Hillandale. As they got into the site it quickly became clear that the site is not going to support it. The topography of that land and the water there will not allow it to be built out. The usable land is largely the parking lot on the back side and the building structure we currently have there.
That has caused them to shift and look at what if they didn’t address the population growth at that site -then they needed to start thinking about other things. They went back to the basic criteria list used to determine what the facility needs were. Based on that five year plan, moved out further than five years, the prime criteria used to determine what they needed to do in an area was safety of the students, health of the students, age of the building, population in that school (growth in the school and overcrowdedness), and instruction. Using that criteria and looking at what they could do they identified the projects that they believe will address those needs as well as a project that will address the growth that we’re looking at. It does not include a major renovation or doubling of the size of Hillandale. It does include work at Hillandale. With the confines that they have and with the environment and the land at that location as well as the recommendations of the engineers and architects they came to what they feel is a sound conclusion but it is not going to address capacity. It will add about 100 seats to that school and that’s about all that can be done and that’s not enough.
A hand-out had been distributed entitled “Henderson County Public Schools – Capital Facility Needs” dated March 30, 2004. Mr. Bazzle referred to that document at this time.
Mr. Bazzle stated that they are currently into registration for kindergarten. DPI is projecting them at about 100 growth, currently at 1036 at day 20 this year for the kindergarten class. DPI says they’ll be at about 1095 and he thinks they will be above that. Between 60 – 75% of the kindergarten class normally pre-registers.
Mr. Bazzle stated that they have projects listed for Dana Elementary (most critical), Hillandale (also pretty critical), Edneyville, Mills River, and a new elementary school.
Mr. Bazzle reviewed the chart of mobile classroom inventory touching on how many mobile units are at the schools now and telling the Board how many more will be in place by September of this year (8 additional units). He stated that once you start adding mobile units, you are taxing the infrastructure of the school, bathroom facilities, gym, and cafeteria even more. They have the mobile units. They will just be moving them from one campus to another.
There was discussion of school sizes, class sizes and the numbers they can accommodate. There was also some discussion of how the private schools have affected the numbers at the public schools.
Dr. Burnham, once again reviewed the top five priority school projects:
Hillandale Elementary School
Dana Elementary School
Edneyville Elementary School
Mills River Elementary School
New elementary school
Hillandale and Dana are safety concerns as well as for growth reasons. In the next 2-3 years the construction should be started for the new elementary school. They expect the funding to be needed for the new elementary school in 2005-2006.
Dr. Burnham explained that the two critical issues that need to be addressed in the short term are Dana and Hillandale Elementary Schools.
Chairman Hawkins thanked the Board of Public Education for attending. Chairman Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:42 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board Grady Hawkins, Chairman