Hoover schools suffer $ 500,000 in water damage from heavy rains

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Hoover school buildings have suffered damage estimated at $ 500,000 due to recent heavy rains, the system’s chief financial officer told the Hoover School Board on Tuesday evening.

The damage occurred to the kindergarten rooms and computer server room at Rocky Ridge Elementary School and the boardrooms, office and workroom of the school system operations building, as well as to the Berry Middle School, Green Valley Elementary School and Riverchase Career Connection Center, Chief Financial Officer Michele McCay said.

A portion of the repair costs will be covered by the insurance company of one of the school system’s subcontractors, and a portion will be covered by the insurance company of the Hoover Board of Education, McCay said.

In total, insurance payments are expected to cover half to two-thirds of the cost, but the rest will have to come from the general school system fund, she said. There was no money in the budget for these emergency repairs, she said.

However, the school system had $ 122 million in its reserve fund at the end of August, which is enough to cover more than eight months of operating expenses, McCay said.

In other cases Tuesday night, school board attorney Carl Johnson informed the board that he had reviewed an allegation made at the school board meeting in September that school board member Amy Mudano had violated the state ethics law by voting in favor of a mask mandate.

Her accuser claimed Mudano’s vote was a violation of ethics law because she is employed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which has been a strong advocate for people wearing masks.

Johnson said he had studied the matter at length and did not believe Mudano had violated ethics law or school board policy because nothing in the law or school system policies precluded School board members vote on policies simply because they are affiliated with an organization that has its own position on those policies.

The ethics law in fact recognizes that people in legislative positions have a duty to vote on matters which may be of a controversial nature and notes that nothing in the ethics law should be used as a tool to prevent policymakers fulfill this duty, Johnson said.

The school board on Tuesday evening also:

  • Approved a change order in a construction contract with Blalock Building Co. for an addition of 13 classrooms at Berry Middle School which opened this school year, reducing the contract by approximately $ 7.1 million to ‘approximately $ 28,000.
  • Agreed to allow school system employees to carry over up to five unused vacation days from this year to the following year. Superintendent Dee Fowler said COVID-19 conditions were preventing many employees from using all of their vacations.
  • Agreed to allow 64 Hoover math and science teachers to move from permanent to contract positions under a new program for graduate teachers. Hoover teachers represent 15% of all teachers in the state who qualify for the program, Fowler said.
  • Approved a revised agreement with Jefferson State Community College regarding dual enrollment programs. A change will require Hoover teachers involved in the programs to attend professional development and staff meetings with Jeff State, but Jeff State will compensate teachers for the time they spend on them, Fowler said.
  • Selected new Hoover School Board member Alan Paquette as the school board’s voting representative at the next Alabama Association of School Board conference in December.
  • Honored 11 Hoover High students and three Spain Park High students for being named National Merit Semifinalists this year and three Hoover High students and one Spain Park High student for being chosen for the College Board’s National African American Recognition Program . This year’s Hoover High National Merit semi-finalists are Christopher Cheng, Kenneth Curlings, Shayaan Essani, Carys Gonzalez, Rotimi Kukoyi, Sreekiran Nataraj, Adnan Porbanderwala, Samuel Temple, Connor Varwig, Sarah Xin and Jeffrey Yuan. The Spain Park National Merit semi-finalists this year are Riley Luthin, Michael Wolkow and Joseph Mudano. The Board of Directors chose Nena Kimble of Hoover High, Rotimi Kukoyi and Kaylei White and Shelby Millender of Spain Park for the National African American Recognition Program.


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