Members of the Russellville Band Boosters called upon the Cole R-1 Board of Education to purchase new instruments for the growing school band during Thursday’s school board meeting, just hours after Russellville High School hosted the Show Me Conference Band Concert.
Band Boosters President Dawn Fredrickson said while the high school’s aging instruments regularly malfunction — requiring $840 for repairs in 2017 — the band is expected to approximately double in size in a couple years.
The Band Boosters believe it would be more cost-efficient and beneficial to students to update the band’s arsenal, which includes an approximately 77-year-old sousaphone. Fredrickson proposed the boosters purchase a $5,657 concert euphonium and $3,000 glockenspiel. The district in turn would purchase a $6,581 concert tuba, $3,300 marching tuba, $5,600 vibraphone and $9,250 marimba.
“There is a pretty substantial return on this investment,” Fredrickson said. “There are a lot of studies out there … that talk about having students engaged in music helps with increasing their attendance, decreasing discipline problems and increasing cognitive skills, especially math and communication arts.”
Vocational agriculture teacher Ellen Amos also presented during Thursday’s meeting to propose a rural photography gallery in the high school gymnasium. It would feature photography from residents, FFA and 4-H members to promote an agricultural adult education program while building pride in the rural school district and community. The gallery would feature different pictures every year and may also include photography workshops.
Septagon Construction presented updates on the Russellville district’s high school and K-8 building renovations and future plans.
A new heating and cooling system has been installed in the K-8 building. New HVAC rooftop units have been installed and are functioning at the high school. The high school’s new roof is finished, but some sheet metal work like installing gutters has yet to be done. Construction costs reportedly totaled $121,692.70 for the period.
Bids to renovate the K-8 loading dock area will be received by Feb. 15, and contract recommendations will be made at the following board meeting.
In other business:
• Russellville has been selected to host district track competitions.
• The district is accepting a $15,367 Daktronics bid for a new football scoreboard. Community Point Bank offered to provide $17,000 for the project.
• The board unanimously approved an application for a rebate to update wireless internet systems through ERATE, a federal program to provide schools technology access. If approved, ERATE would reimburse the district 70 percent of the $25,000 that Infinitec bid to complete the project.
• The board unanimously approved retaining the out-of-district tuition rate at $7,000, as advised by Superintendent Perry Gorrell.
• MAP and EOC testing is tentatively scheduled for sometime between April 9-27.
• Class will be in session Jan. 29 to make up for a missed school day.