City school board holds special call meeting for several items Tuesday

The Elizabethton City School Board held a special call meeting at noon Tuesday to tackle a handful of key items, including approving a contract with Markland Behavioral Services.

“We needed this contract to be able to take care of a student,” Superintendent Corey Gardenhour said. “They will be providing ABA therapy for that student.”

He said the contract could also serve other students. The board voted unanimously in favor.

The board also voted on a contract with Stop-It Solutions, becoming one of many school districts to utilize an anonymous phone app to provide students an outlet to report bullying in their social environment.

The vote was unanimous.

The bulk of the meeting encompassed conversations about possibly re-negotiating their bonds with the city of Elizabethton in order to begin renovation projects at T.A. Dugger Jr. High.

Gardenhour said these bonds come from the 0.5 percent sales tax in the city. He said ideally they would need about $5.7 million for all the work they want to do, including an addition to the school outright, $700,000 towards fixing the roof and about $500,000 towards renovating the bathrooms.

“We do not have enough to do that right now,” he said. “However, based on the correction we received, we know we could probably access about $1.2 million right now.”

He said that would be the money they would use for the roof and bathrooms first.

The board members said they wanted to get more information about what they could do to renegotiate those bonds before making any kind of formal decision.

“I do not want it to fall apart,” Eddie Pless said. “We need to figure out how to expedite it.”

The committee also voted in favor of a contract to complete the STEM Lab at Elizabethton High School at a bid price of $150,300. The board voted unanimously to approve.

The board also voted unanimously to purchase 110 Chromebooks for special education students.

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