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Roof leak, upgrade top DCSS discussion

ALBANY — The Dougherty County Board of Education faced a light agenda during its regular session Monday night. Much of the board’s prebriefing concerned the rain damage at Northside Elementary, which was shut down earlier in the morning by a massive roof leak.

R.D. Harter, public information officer for the school system, said the leak primarily impacted the media center, a few backside classrooms and part of the school’s kitchen. Students at the school were bused to Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School and Radium Springs Elementary School for the remainder of the school day.

“We had to move 461 students quickly, and they might be away from the school for the remainder of the week,” Superintendent Joshua Murfree told the board. “We had some serious problems there this morning. It looked like a hurricane had gone through there.”

Board member David Maschke visited Northside in the morning and left pleased with the school system staff’s teamwork in relocating the students.

“I’m telling you, what I saw this morning was an impressive effort by the DCSS staff,” Maschke said. “That effort was a bright, shining star in the handling of the emergency at that school.”

The board later approved two major items.

By a 5-2 vote the board approved a much-debated $520,000 for serving line improvements at Monroe High School’s cafeteria. The project will involve moving a load-bearing wall and moving the serving line forward to increase student flow and increase efficiency. Maschke and Carol Tharin cast the “no” votes.

The board also approved by unanimous vote a provisional $100,000,000 STEP III (E-SPLOST) budget list.

The provisional project list includes:

— $73,600,000 STEP priority renovations for instructional improvements, including $14,300,000 for Dougherty High, $13,500,000 for Monroe High and $11,500,000 for Albany High;

— $10,000,000 for technology in the classroom;

— $10,200,000 for safety and security equipment and miscellaneous projects;

— $6,200,000 for vehicle/equipment replacement, including $5,000,000 for buses, departmental trucks, vans and sedans.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 12:30 p.m. at Lincoln Magnet School.