OCSD will offer vaccination clinics; progress of discussions on improving energy in schools | Local

Orangeburg County School District students ages 5 to 11 will be able to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Vaccines will be available Saturday, February 19 at Edisto Elementary, Mellichamp Elementary and Holly Hill Elementary from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The district will partner with the SC Department of Education to provide the vaccines.

School officials say about 85% of parents responded to a district-wide survey indicating they wanted their children vaccinated.

Students over 12 can also be vaccinated at clinics.

Energy performance

Trustees voted 5-3 with one abstention to pursue negotiations with Alpharetta, Georgia-based ABM Buildings Solutions LLC to enter into a contract to improve school energy performance.

The resolution does not obligate the school district to continue with the contract until all funding and legal terms and conditions are finalized.

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Trustees RL “Poppy” Brown, Betty Pelzer, Vice President Dr. Debora Brunson, Peggy James-Tyler and President Ruby Edwards voted in favour. Dr. Sylvia Bruce-Stephens, Dr. William O’Quinn and Idella Carson voted against.

Trustee Mary Ulmer abstained.

The district would pay for the work through a $41 million general obligation bond. The cost of the work is estimated at approximately $39.9 million.

School officials say the bail would not require a tax increase. The work would be carried out from August 2022 to August 2025.

“There’s a lot of flexibility in how we move around and how we fund this process,” said Bob Damron, financial adviser to Compass. “It’s not part of your 8% debt capacity, so it doesn’t affect your debt limit in any way.”

He said, “It’s very standard in how other performance contacts are funded by other school districts in the state.”

The contract would provide the district with new HVAC equipment, new LED lights, water conservation equipment, energy control systems, a one-year maintenance plan and the ability to treat air by bipolar ionization.

Some administrators have expressed concerns about approving an energy performance contract as the district develops a plan to improve facilities.

Officials say the improvements would be made to schools that are not proposed for closure or new construction as part of the district’s facility improvement plan.

The contract can be changed if the district’s improvement plan changes, said Bob Grant, district assistant superintendent for operations.

The bond will be paid through energy and operational savings, Grant said.

Last year, ABM completed an energy performance assessment of the neighborhood’s electrical, lighting and water systems.

ABM officials say 91% of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment in the district is past its useful life.

Neighborhood facilities

Administrators have been briefed on plans for the district to possibly contract with an at-risk construction manager to help oversee all construction projects the district undertakes as part of its facility-wide plan. of the district.

CMAR would provide architectural and engineering services to the district and would be contractually bound to deliver the project at the agreed cost.

School officials say that with the rising cost of equipment and supplies, opting for a CMAR is probably the safest and most cost-effective way to go.

“The risk is really on the general contractor and not on us if the cost of construction goes up,” said superintendent Dr Shawn Foster.

Grant said the deadline for a CMAR to respond to the district’s request for proposals would be March 16, with the board issuing a final approval around April 16.

“It’s a process that should happen anyway,” Foster said. “If the plan does not succeed, no harm, no fault.”

other business

• Trustees unanimously approved the district’s 2022-2023 school calendar on first reading.

• Trustees recognized Lake Marion Technology Center’s January Rookie Professor of the Month, Kevin Gist II.

• Trustees recognized Whittaker Elementary School employee Vanester Ravenell as OCSD Employee of the Month. Ravenell, who is an accountant at the school, was the first to receive the prize, which will be awarded monthly.

• Administrators honored Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School basketball senior goaltender Jordan Simpson, who was named Region V Preseason Player of the Year; Preseason South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Top 5 Senior; member of the 2021 Holiday Hoop Fest All-Tournament Team and Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 Orangeburg County Basketball Tournament.

Simpson received numerous scholarships to a number of colleges in recognition of his athletic and academic talents.

• Administrators recognized the students who attended the Beta Club of South Carolina State Convention held in Myrtle Beach January 12-14. Students will attend the National Beta Club Convention in Nashville, Tennessee in late June and early July.

• Trustees were informed that the compilation of a district-wide strategic plan is ongoing. The final document will be presented to the board at its March meeting

• The District Career Fair is scheduled to be held Saturday, March 5 from 9 am to noon at the Orangeburg County Library and Conference Center at 1645 Russell Street.

All sites and departments of the school will be represented.

• Administrator Brown expressed his appreciation for Foster’s representation at the recent meeting of the South Carolina Black Schools Educators’ Alliance held in North Charleston.

• The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. at district headquarters at 102 Founders Court in Orangeburg.

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