HARTSELLE — Hartselle City Schools Superintendent William Michael Reed drew tears from teachers and administrators Monday night after announcing he will retire June 30 after almost eight years with the system.
The announcement concluded a nearly two-hour meeting that included discussion of fieldhouse upgrades, completion of the new Hartselle High School and hiring a chief financial officer.
Reed, who is waiting until the 50-acre high school campus on Bethel Road is complete to retire, said he is “looking forward to enjoying time” with his grandson and family.
“It’s been a pleasure serving and leading this district,” he said. “The kids, parents, teachers and administration are all top class.”
The school board voted 4-1 Monday night to spend $220,000 on a fieldhouse at the new Bethel Road campus to make it equitable for boys and girls.
Architects Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Birmingham learned in December that changes to the $2 million field house to meet federal Title IX requirements would cost $55,000 more than the $165,000 estimate.
In late October, the school board approved changes to the 50,000-square-foot athletic complex to provide locker space for the girls’ softball team.
The addition was made in response to concerns that leaving out lockers for girls’ sports could be a violation of Title IX, a 1972 federal law that requires equal opportunities for males and females at educational institutions receiving public funds.
School board member Randy Sparkman, who voiced opposition to the expenditure during a work session last Thursday, voted against dipping into the system’s $8 million reserve to cover the cost of upgrades to the fieldhouse.
Sparkman encouraged the board to cap spending at the new school until planning and the cost of upgrades for the high school’s current Sparkman Street campus are complete.
“First of all, I support putting the girls’ softball in the fieldhouse,” he said. “But I did not have enough information about pending costs in the district to feel good about making that decision.”
School board members voted in January to allow architects to seek bids for a new heating and cooling system, projected to cost about $1.2 million, at the Sparkman Street campus.
Seventh- and eighth-graders will move to the Sparkman Street campus in August.
The Hartselle Junior High School campus will serve fifth- and sixth-graders next fall under the name Hartselle Intermediate School.
The board approved taking $5,000 out of its reserve to hire H&H Enterprises in Boaz to install 200 wooden lockers for $80,000 in the new fieldhouse.
Reed said there was $75,000 allotted for lockers.
The school board also decided to spend $5,000 to hire the Alabama Association of School Boards to conduct a search for a new chief school financial officer after Sarita Tapscott announced last month she will take a position with Alabaster City Schools in March.
Jim Maynard, project manager with Martin & Cobey of Athens, said he expects the final inspection for the new Hartselle High to take place next month.
Reed hasn’t set an opening date for the facility but hopes to be in by mid- to late-March.
Lucy Berry can be reached at 256-340-2442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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