Board of Education discusses water damage and new buses

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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The Butler County Board of Education approved the Southeast Alabama Regional Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan and discussed Greenville High School’s (GHS) gym reconstruction status, and the county’s new air conditioned school bus fleet at a meeting on Aug. 17. 

Last Christmas Eve, a pipe froze and burst in the attic of the GHS weight room, shutting off the fire department alarm and flooding the entire gym in a foot of water. The gym has been closed since January awaiting repair funding approval by the Department of Risk Management. The next course of action is for the board to choose a bid for the restoration of the gym, which is projected to be close to $1,100,000.00. 

Joseph Eiland, Butler County Superintendent, said it is important to get the gym back in working order for the students. 

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“The bid will be recommended to the board for their approval on September 11th,” Eiland said. “The Department of Risk Management will need to approve coverage through the adjustment process and provide the funding needed to pay for the damages and repairs. Our children have already lost half of one season, and they’re about to lose half of another season on their home court. Our goal is to get this fixed as fast as possible.”

Board members said they are thrilled to have 25 new school buses equipped with air conditioning, something the board has been working for since 2020. The plan is to replace all of the buses for all 38 Butler County bus routes with a few extra to spare. Eiland said that this new fleet is quite an achievement over a short period of time and he is excited for the students and drivers. 

Rosie Till, director of the Butler County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), was present for the approval of the Southeast Alabama Regional Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan was adopted by all Butler County School Systems and cities in the event that any natural disaster or emergency situation were to take place. 

“In the event of a natural disaster whether it’s a tornado, fire, hurricane, or even a mudslide, there’s a plan,” Till said. “Many of our schools sit right on railroads and the interstate, and at times there are chemical spills and other severe situations that need a disaster plan in place. In order to get federal funding for this plan, it has to be adopted by the city and boards, so I am glad that is what happened here today.” 

The Butler County Board of Education will have a special called budget meeting Sept. 11 at 10 a.m., and Sept. 14 at 5 p.m., and the next regular board meeting will take place Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Central Office Boardroom located at 949 Oglesby Street in Greenville.