TCSS approves new GPS technology, awards many

Published 10:09 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

The Troup County School Board approved new GPS tech- nology for buses and a cleaning treatment for schools that ad- ministrators hope will reduce absences at Thursday night’s board meeting.

The purchase will allow parents to use an app to determine where their child’s school bus is, and while the new technology will not be installed immediately, it marked a step forward for the new GPS system.

“This is an interesting new age type thing coming around the country. Parents can get an app on their phone and follow their kids school bus until they get to the door,” Superintendent Brian Shumate said. “They can set up when they want to be notified — a mile out, two miles out.”

The purchase was from Synovia Solutions in the amount of $80,640. In addition to track- ing buses, the new technology can send TCSS’ shop notifications when a bus needs maintenance and will track the vehicle’s speed. TCSS is also looking at slowly updating its bus fleet.

“We will have more of this modern technology on our buses in the near future. We are going to shoot for trying to replace 10 buses a year to get on a schedule,” Shumate said. “While all of our fleet is safe, the older they get the more time they are [in the shop] and more expensive they are to maintain. We want the best buses on the road for our kids and families.”

John Radcliffe, assistant superintendent for main- tenance and operations, said the treatment that was approved Thursday has been used in the past at Hillcrest Elementary, Hogansville Elementary and Long Cane Elementary. At all three schools, ab- senteeism decreased after the treatment.

The cleaning treatment is through Southern Envi- ronmental Control at a cost not to exceed $85,000. That total includes antimi- crobial treatment at each TCSS campus.

Also on Thursday, the board approved the memorandum of understanding and between Development Authority, MOBIS, the Troup County Board of Commissioners, the City of West Point, the Troup County Board of Tax Assessors. MOBIS is planning an $11.3 million investment to its proper- ty, which will create about 80 different jobs. The tax abatement would be for a 50 percent reduction in taxes for seven years. The City of West Point approved the memorandum on Monday, and the Troup County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on the memorandum on Tuesday.

The board also re-ap- proved an intergovern- mental agreement with the Troup County Archives. The school system’s increased annual payment of $98,410 to the archives did not change from its previous form, but the agreement had to be reapproved bond resolution the West Point because the Troup County Board of Commissioners made some changes to the contract. The agreement is between the City of LaGrange, the county, the school system and the archives.

During Monday’s school board work session, Rad- cliffe said the opening date for the new Troup High gymnasium is expected to be at some point in October.

Radcliffe estimated LaGrange’s gym will be completed in summer or fall of 2020.

Much of Thursday’s meeting was spent on rec- ognitions of students and faculty members.

Four Troup high students — Devon Cushing, Carson Thames, Madison Phillips and Jackson Everingham — were recognized for advancing to the National SkillsUSA Leader- ship and Skills Conference this summer. LaGrange

High freshman Render McLeod was recognized for advancing to the Inter- national Oratorical World Championship in St. Louis. The Long Cane Middle School Greenpower team was recognized for winning the 2019 middle school national championship.

Among the numerous staff awards given out, Public Relations Direc- tor Yolanda Stephen was presented the 2019 Gold Medallion Award from the National School Public Re- lations Association for her work with the school sys- tem’s branding campaign. Stephen was also recently named the Georgia School Public Relations Associ- ation president. Traviera Sewell, the school system’s 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year, was presented the annual teacher of the year ring by Rick Shrewsbury of Herff Jones.

During the actual meeting, the school board also approved the following:

  • The use of Callaway Stadium for the 2020 fiscal year at a cost of $70,000.
  • Exmark Lazer Z diesel 96-inch wide area mower from Triad Outdoor at a cost of $33,599.20.
  • Annual mat service through Dye’s Dust Con- trol at a cost not to exceed $46,482.
  • The board also received the final report on year two of the E-SPLOST, which brought in $12,512,943.78. In year one, the e-SPLOST brought in 11,638,347.28, providing a two year total of $24,151,291.06.
  • There are still three years of collections to go. Every single month brought in more in year two than year one, except for September.
  • The Troup County Board of Education will meet again on Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at 100 North Davis Road.