The Greeneville City Board of Education approved funding Thursday night for building renovations at Hal Henard Elementary School to create a private nursing station and isolation area and for maintenance work on the track at Greeneville Middle School.
Assistant Director for Administration Beverly Miller presented the projects to the board.
“Our Coordinated School Health Supervisor Jeannie Woolsey has been advising that we do need an isolation area separate from nursing areas,” Miller said.
The project will consist of building a corridor for anyone being isolated with symptoms of COVID-19, or another contagious illness, to exit the building without interacting more than necessary with healthy individuals in the building.
“The objective is to have an exit door to the exiting corridor so that ideally if we have a student quarantined in the isolation area we can remove them from the building when their parent comes to get them with as little interaction as possible,” Miller explained.
Miller said solutions have been found at some schools including Greeneville High, Greeneville Middle and Highland Elementary, but some schools in the district will require renovation work.
“It has been very perplexing to find solutions that were easy to implement and affordable,” Miller said.
Miller said that estimates for the work at Hal Henard cost more than anticipated. To mitigate the cost of the project, Miller said much of the work will be done by district employees and managed by district Operations Supervisor Phillip Graham.
This way, the project is estimated to cost $18,670, which will be paid through capital funds budgeted for the 2020-21 school year.
Woolsey has said the area will be useful long term and for any contagious illness, Miller said.
“It’s always good practice to have that area for anything that is contagious, so I don’t feel like it would be spending money that wouldn’t be useful for the long term,” Miller said.
The board also approved $27,905, also from capital funds budgeted for 2020-21, for a preventive maintenance and resurfacing project on the track at Greeneville Middle School.
“It is really widely used throughout our community,” Miller said, adding that Tusculum University and other education entities frequently use the track. It is also open to and regularly used by the community.
The track underwent major construction and rework in 2009, and preventive maintenance will extend the life of of the track surface for at least five more years, Miller said.
The work will include repair on identified high-wear areas, application of an acrylic topcoat on all rubber surfaces including the entire track and event areas and re-striping after the topcoat is applied.
Miller said the new stripes will reflect recent changes to the 30-meter exchange zones.
Miller also presented a request, also approved by the board, for $10,560 of 2020-21 transportation funds to be used for an upgrade to the district’s transportation software.
Transportation Supervisor Kristen Rollins said Traversa, the platform the district will migrate to, is web based and will allow staff to use the software without being connected to the school system’s server.
There is also a live map function, which could be beneficial in instances where a parent is searching for a child.
Miller added that the program could also help with contact tracing.
Director of Schools Steve Starnes also gave a report in which he shared recent achievements including that the district ranked second in the 2021 Niche Best School Districts in Tennessee results. Greeneville City Schools placed fourth in this ranking overall for 2020.
The district came in first in multiple categories including best places in Tennessee to teach, best teachers in Tennessee and best districts for athletes in the state and was ranked No. 322 out of 10,760 in the nationwide ranking.
Starnes also shared that Greeneville High School was recognized with a college success award from greatschools.com.
Starnes also told the board that in honor of late Greene County Board of Education member Clark Justis, Greeneville City Schools is placing copies of the 2020 Scholastic Year of Sports in each school library.