By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY —
For the first time in four years, non-faculty employees will get a raise next school year in the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp.
The district’s board of trustees unanimously approved a salary schedule that would increase pay for non-teaching positions across the board starting in the 2014-15 school year. Rebecca Gardenour, board member, was not present.
Fred McWhorter, chief business officer, said after the meeting that he’s glad the corporation’s finances are in good enough shape to reward employees who’ve suffered through cutbacks and frozen wages.
“We’ve gotten our financial ship back in shape and it’s time,” McWhorter said. “They’ve been patient and team players, it’s time for us to give back to that employee group that really is one of the backbones of our organization.”
He said the goal was to give every employee at least a 1.5 percent increase, but he said most will see a little more than 2 percent added on.
After studying its pay against other local districts, it raised the starting pay for most employees since they fell short. He also said that the top-end pay scale was close to other districts, but they’ll also see a slight increase.
Mark Boone, board member, said he thinks the scale now serves as a recruiting tool, giving potential employees a sense of where they’ll be after so many years of working with the district.
“The key for me was we were doing something for the group to help them get there,” Boone said. “They were our partners to help us balance the budget, but the bigger thing is we now have a roadmap moving forward.”
McWhorter said last year, the classified employees received a bonus, but not a real raise.
He said the move will cost the district about $260,000 in the general fund — almost twice what it would have cost to not move on the pay schedule — but after getting more money than budgeted, he felt now was the time to make a sustainable move.
“If you remember from our budgeting, we finished $300,000 to the good this past year,” McWhorter said. “We also built our budget on the assumption that we’d lose 65 kids when, in fact, we gained four.”
Teachers and other certified personnel were given a raise starting this school year with a two-year contract.
The board also unanimously awarded a $1.3 million bid to install synthetic turf at Floyd Central High School and New Albany High School to Sprinturf.
Bill Wiseheart, director of facilities, said to meet water retention requirements for both the city and the county, it had to adjust its original budget of about $1.25 million.
“Stormwater was more than we expected,” Wiseheart said. “But to be ecologically sound, we had to consider that, too.”
He said some extra money available in its capital projects fund, it’s still able to meet the new price.
Now that the bid is awarded, he said he hopes installation can begin at one of the high school fields by the first week in May. By the beginning of the next school year, students will be able to use them.
“We are working on a very aggressive schedule with this,” Wiseheart said. “If the board chooses to approve this tonight, we will have this completed by early August or late July and have playable fields for our students this year.”
In other business at the meeting:
• Wendy Ivey, vice principal at Fairmont Elementary School, was appointed as the principal of Greenville Elementary School starting next school year. The current principal, Harlan Uhl, will retire this year.
• The board authorized the deputy superintendent to look into purchasing two more properties on Shelby Street in new Albany. He said one property, 1847 Shelby Street, was purchased before the board could move on the proposal, but he may be able to talk to the buyer and see if they’d sell for a competitive price; 1845 Shelby Street is scheduled to go on sale in a sheriff’s auction on Thursday. Snyder said he plans to go and bid for the district.