The Alexander City Board of Education discussed the idea of a later start date for the 2020-21 school year at its meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Dr. Keith Lankford proposed going back to school Aug. 20 to allow for more preparation time and also the possibility of some summer school classes.

“We will release that finalized calendar (today) after I sort out a few more details,” Lankford said. “But this would allow us some summer school that would begin in July.”

The board also discussed the opening of bids for the Jim Pearson Elementary School renovation project to be held at 2 p.m. today at architect Lathan and Associates office in Birmingham.

“(Alex City Schools chief financial officer) Mrs. (Rhonda) Blythe will attend that opening of bids and we’ll propose those to the board and discuss with our architect to give advice on when to start construction,” Lankford said. “Hopefully a year from now, we will be finished with that.”

The renovations will connect the two currently separate buildings at Jim Pearson and allow for new office spaces, science, technology, engineering and math classrooms and ADA compliant exits and entrances.

“It’s a pretty large renovation to come in at about $3.5 million,” Lankford said.

The Alex City board members recognized the top 10 graduating seniors as well.

“That was very much sad for me to not actually have them there to be recognized,” Lankford said.

The Alex City City Council on Monday appointed Michael Ransaw to another five-year term on the board of education and Dr. Chanté Ruffin to finish out the late Dorothea Walker’s remaining three-year term.

“I am excited knowing Mr. Ransaw and having him serve another term,” Lankford said. “It’s great to have him and his experience to help lead our district. I don’t know Dr. Ruffin very well but have heard great things about her and she has kids in the school system with a vested interest in continuing to move forward our school system.”

The Alex City Board of Education also:

Reviewed the 2019 fiscal year audit, which came back positive with no discrepancies

Approved multiple annual child nutrition program contracts 

Provided a personnel report

Was updated on the progress of going to market for the large capital project of the new high school. Lankford said he anticipates the board will secure financing by the first week in June.

Announced the next meeting for 7 a.m. June 11 and a regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. June 23. Lankford plans to allow 50% capacity in the boardroom to return to some form of normalcy while still being compliant with Gov. Kay Ivey’s orders. The overflow of people will have to call in.

Amy Passaretti is a staff writer with the Alexander City Outlook.