Vicksburg Warren School Board approves budget, vehicle purchases

Published 3:25 pm Friday, July 29, 2022

The Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting on Thursday, during which they approved the new budget for the school year, the purchase of vehicles, and provided updates on construction and repair work.

Director of Financial Services Cassandra Lewis gave a summary to the board of the district’s financial status. The total fund balance as of June 30 was about $27.7 million, roughly $90,000 shy of last year’s balance.

The board then voted to approve the budget for the 2022-2023 school year.

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Updates were given by Jason Stewert and Mark Pipper of Bailey Program Management, LLC, on construction and maintenance projects throughout the District.

Construction on Warren County High School has been experiencing delays due to contractors facing unforeseen difficulties, Pipper said.

“They have made some progress,” he said. “But again, not as much as we’d like.”

A concrete walkway that will connect two buildings on the campus will miss its estimated completion date due to the supplier being unable to furnish concrete until a later date.

Asphalt scheduled to be poured for a new parking lot will have to wait as the contractor has been unable to source a water truck for the project.

“We have plans for some striping for temporary parking,” Pipper said.

Work on an agora, a large main hallway being built at the entrance to the campus, has also been slowed in part due to problems with getting the steel fabrication that is required for its completion.

After updates on construction and maintenance, the board voted to open bidding for repairs to the Bowmar Elementary gymnasium floor. The wood floor had sustained water damage, the cause of which has since been fixed.

Among the 34 proposed consent items voted on were several vehicle purchases.

Thirteen new air-conditioned school buses were approved to be purchased by the board. The total cost will be a little over $1.3 million, which will be covered by federally issued money from the Elementary and Secondary School Relief (ESSER) Fund. The ESSER Fund was created by the federal government in 2021 to address financial relief for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the purchase of two maintenance trucks and one cargo van was approved. The vehicles were requested last year but were not available at that time.

The meeting was adjourned after the board held a closed executive session.

The next VWSD school board meeting will be held Thursday, Aug. 25.