School Purchases Land For Barn
LINCOLN — A new agriculture barn for Lincoln High School students will provide a lab facility for students taking animal science classes.
Lincoln School Board last week voted to purchase 5.1 acres for $50,000 from R and D Ent., for a new agri barn for the high school. The land is located east of the school’s agriculture wing.
The land is owned by school employee Randall Villines, and the board at its January meeting approved a resolution to disclose it would like to conduct business with Villines.
Sarah Hale, Lincoln agriculture teacher, said the barn will provide endless educational opportunities for students.
“The new barn will allow for hands-on application for the animal science classes,” Hale said by email. “I am so excited that our students will be able to utilize the concepts learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. I hope to have cattle, sheep and hogs for our students to care for every day. We will be able to conduct feed trials, vaccinate animals, check vitals and so much more during class on a regular basis.”
The school’s goal, she said, is to prepare students for their future, whatever it may look like.
“I hope that our barn will prepare our students to work hard in life and not be afraid to get dirt under their finger nails,” Hale said, adding, “Each year fewer of our students are coming from a production agriculture background.
It is my desire for our students to respect and appreciate where our food comes from.”
To move the agri barn project along, the School Board later in its meeting considered proposals from architectural and engineering firms interested in being placed on retainer for future projects.
Board member Kendra Moore weighed in on the discussion and vote on the two firms via cell phone. Board members present at the meeting were President Dax Moreton, Connie Meyer and Tera Thompson. State law now allows board members to participate in meetings off-site electronically. Lisa Reed was absent.
WER Architects/Planners of Fayetteville and Architecture Plus Inc., of Fort Smith submitted their qualifications to be considered as the district’s on-call architects.
Architecture Plus has more than 30 years of experience in new construction and renovation of all types of education facilities, according to its qualifications stated. School projects included Mena High School, new K-12 school for Mineral Springs School District, and several elementary school projects in Fort Smith.
John Langham of WER attended the board meeting to answer any questions. The firm’s qualifications include 40 years of experience with 50 percent of the projects related to education. WEF’s projects have included school gymnasiums, school renovations, sports facilities and new buildings, such as Conway and Jacksonville high schools, and numerous projects for the University of Arkansas.
Moreton said his concern was that he wanted an architectural firm to see Lincoln’s projects as a priority.
“I just don’t want to feel like our project isn’t important,” Moreton said.
Langham said WER as a larger firm has resources in Little Rock that it can use. Its Fayetteville office is newer.
“No matter the size of the project, we try to bring the same value to every project,” Langham said.
Moreton responded that earlier in the day he was leaning toward Architecture Plus but the fact Langham took the time to show up for the board meeting spoke about the firm’s commitment.
Moore, speaking by phone, said she had seen WER’s work first hand and thought the company would do a great job for the district.
The board voted 4-0 to hire WER as its on-call architects. The firm’s first project will be the new agri barn.
ESI Engineering Services was the only firm to submit qualifications to serve as the district’s engineers. This firm offers local civil engineering design, surveying and on-site inspection services for school districts. It completed the engineering work for drainage improvements for Lincoln High School.
The board voted 4-0 to contract with ESI as its on-call engineering firm.
In other action, the board voted 3-0 to accept a bid from Aramark to provide food service for the 2018-19 school year.
Mary Ann Spears, superintendent of Lincoln Consolidated School District, said the district received two bids, one from Aramark and one from Opaa! Food Management. She had hoped for a bid from Chartwells Food Service but said the company decided not to submit anything.
Spears recommended the district stay with Aramark based on a scoring sheet that looked at several factors, including price, marketing, accounting, management. Out of a maximum 95 points, Aramark scored 92 and Opaa! scored 89 points.
Aramark will end the current year with a $20,000 balance, Spears said. For 2016-17, the school district had to pay $52,000 toward the difference in food nutrition costs and revenue.