All WJ schools will serve breakfast

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Students in the Jefferson Local School District will have the opportunity to start their day off right with a healthy breakfast when all buildings begin serving a morning meal during the upcoming school year.

Superintendent William Mullett said the breakfast program began at Norwood Elementary last year and, because of the number of free and reduced lunches served in district buildings, will be expanded to the middle and high school.

According to school board President Bob Barton Jr., children who walked to the elementary school were offered breakfast in the cafeteria, while those who arrived on buses ate in their classrooms.

“It went fairly smoothly, but there are always some glitches,” admitted Mullett, who said the district had to add more food service staff to accommodate the breakfast program. “We’re not serving bacon and eggs, but it is a balanced meal with some pre-packaged items.”

In addition to the discussion on the breakfast program, board members were told during the July 23 meeting that action on construction issues is nearing an end. Bovis Lend Lease representative Clay Keith reported that walk-throughs are under way and a final meeting on deductive change orders is scheduled for next month. However, disputes linger over flooring, window, and dirt removal issues.

“We’re holding on American Glass,” Keith told the board. “They’ve become very demanding. If we don’t see windows going in this week, that’s the final straw. They said they couldn’t put the window in because they’re missing a handle. I told them they have until Friday to get them done.”

Mullett also commented on discussions with MTB, who owns 280 acres in the West Jefferson industrial park. He said the company is attempting to obtain the same kind of TIF agreement the district offered Duke Realty regarding land development.

“The land right now is worth $10,000 an acre,” continued the superintendent, “but could be worth $50,000 once it’s developed—and that is a conservative estimate. There’s a great deal of speculation. We don’t even know what businesses will be there in 15 years. It seems like Duke and MTB are going out for the same type of businesses, but MTB is land-holding, whereas Duke is building buildings.”

Because of additional workloads for the custodial staff due to new facilities and programs, board members approved Mullett’s recommendation to accept a proposal by H.E.A.T. Total Facilities Solutions for a custodial staff analysis. The superintendent said some of the biggest changes affecting workers are the combined middle/high school auditeria, increases in square footage, and the implementation of the breakfast program.

In other board action, Mike Branham resigned as head girls’ soccer coach at the high school and was replaced by John Starr. Don Hammer resigned as head boys’ baseball coach and Alessandra Vaccaro was hired as assistant high school girls’ soccer coach.

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