Lighting project nears completion


    Work to complete the lighting retrofit and upgrade at Caddo Hills Schools should be completed by December 10,, according to Deric Owens, district superintendent. The project is scheduled to lower utility costs while providing better lighting for classrooms as well as activity buildings.
    The school board voted at the August meeting to work with Excel Energy Group to replace all lighting with newer LED lighting fixtures. Owens explained that the lighting upgrade would be paid for through savings on the district’s electric bill.
    Preliminary discussion was held concerning the District’s Facilities Master Plan, which is required by the Arkansas Department of Education. Further discussion will be held at the December meeting.
    More discussion will be held by board members in the upcoming days, but a brief discussion was held at Monday night’s meeting, Owens told the board that first observation, he felt the district should begin consideration of a new cafeteria complex.
    “I think it would serve us well to have a new cafeteria,” he said. If the board determines that a new facility is needed, Owens said it could be designed as a more inclusive facility so it could be used for other school and community events.
    One possible scenario, in addition to a larger cafeteria, would be enlarging the stage area to allow more  and bigger plays and other productions. The present stage area (in the cafeteria) is too small to do many productions, according to the superintendent.
    Mention was made that by building a new cafeteria complex, the present cafeteria could become a media center for both elementary and high school use. Owens noted that presently the elementary school’s media center is too small while the high school’s media center is barely adequate.
    Owens said that any new or upgrades to the facilities would be designed to make district activities flow better, and would benefit the students and faculty in activities.
    While nothing is concrete, the district will pursue state partnership funds for this, or similar projects, which would include new roofing for some buildings as well as additional parking.
    Owens reminded board members that he and Tom West, who serves as secretary to the board, will be attending the Arkansas School Boards’ Association meeting on December 9.
    Elementary School Principal Josh Bright told the board that the Outdoor Movie Night would probably be postponed to Nov. 19 due to weather issues.
    He mentioned that the 3-4 grades Gifted and Talented students would travel to Old Washington as part of a supplemental curriculum project on November 6, and the 5-6 grades Quiz Bowl will be held November 13.
    Another activity will be a Holiday Concert/Dinner scheduled for Dec. 3.
    Todd Baxley, high school principal, submitted a report to the board showing nearly 200 parents attended the Oct. 22 Parent/Teacher Conference, held in the cafeteria.
    Other school activities will include a Veteran’s Day Ceremony with breakfast served by Student Council representatives on November 11. Breakfast will be served at 9 a.m. with a program following at 10 a.m.

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