Palmetto multi-use facility almost ready, board waives fourth make-up day


By David Meade
The Anderson School District One Board approved a request to waive one student make up day, heard a building program update and named a new superintendent who will take over in July for the 2018-19 school year. The Palmetto High School multi use athletic facility (artist rendering above) should be completed in four to five weeks.
During their meeting Feb. 27, the board unanimously approved Assistant Superintendent Robbie Binnicker as the successor to current Superintendent David Havird, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
Finance Director Travis Thomas reported that a recent procurement audit showed no findings and was “a really good audit.”
In early preparation for the annual budget process, Thomas reported that based on the state house preliminary budget, there will be no increase in the Base Student Cost, which is expected to remain at $2425 per student. He said there will be an extra $32 million for growth and that a two percent salary increase for teachers will be provided by the state.
A salary step increase, estimated at $500,000 for District One, will fall on the district, he said.
Retirement costs are expected to increase by one percent and health insurance costs to increase by four percent.
According to Thomas, other funding in the state budget includes an expected $2 million increase for the Career and Technology Center, $5 million to bring beginning teacher salaries up to $32,100, and $8 million for school buses.
Instructional Superintendent Jane Harrison provided information on the teacher cadet program and several students from each of the high school programs told the board how being in the program affected them. Matt Howard said he “loved it:” and it gave him a first hand look at what to teach in the future and “to help gauge if I want to be a teacher.”
Assistant Superintendent Robbie Binnicker reported that the average participation in the student nutrition program had increased by 548 per day. Profit for the program in January was $71,000 and year to date profit amounted to $366,000, which Binnicker said was considerably more than last year.
A portion of the profit will be used to update equipment, he said.
The board unanimously approved a recommendation by Havird to waive one makeup day.
Havird said students have missed four days of school due to bad weather, with three days built into the calendar. The only way to make up the fourth day is to add to the end of the calendar, he said. Havird said adding a day at the end of the school year would be unproductive. He said teachers will be paid for the day.
Havird updated the board on the building program.
According to Havird, the Palmetto High School multi use athletic facility should be completed in four to five weeks. “It is very large and can be used for many uses including spring batting, wrestling and cheer practice,” he said. “It is a very nice, usable facility for all our sports.”
The facility has a large parking lot at the softball field with 35-40 spaces and handicap parking. A small parking lot is adjacent to the building and should be completed by the end of March. It also has restrooms.
Havird said the old fieldhouse at Palmetto has added new lockers and will be available for spring sports and visitor locker rooms.
A storage area was also added. The building was the old weight room area.
The Powdersville Roe Road connection has been approved by DHEC and bid packages on the project have been sent out. Havird said they are expected back in by March 15. Work is expected to begin in late March and completed by July 31. The project includes a bridge that should be complete by May, Havird said.
“This is a very important project for traffic safety for the Powdersvile area,” Havird said.
Havird told the Board that Aug. 20 is the start date for school.
The Board went into executive session to discuss employment and contractural matter regarding the superintendent.
Upon returning to regular session, the board unanimously approved a motion by board member David Merritt, to name Robbie Binnicker as superintendent effective July 1, 2018.
Current superintendent David Havird announced in January that he plans to retire at the end of the school year.