DENMARK -- The final set of plans for construction of the new Denmark-Olar facilities will be ready on Dec. 10, Bamberg School District 2 trustees learned at their November meeting.

“Unfortunately, this is going to fall right in the middle of the holidays. We looked into some options to be able to start earlier. The civil engineer is actually going to be able to submit an early site package to us next week," said Ginny McGill Kirk of Thompson Turner Construction. "Unfortunately, because of the requirements that USDA has with financing and actually approving the entire package, the entire drawing has to be approved.”

Kirk said the team will start taking pricing from subcontractors at the beginning of next year. The construction company is ready to start taking bids, she said, noting it’s a priority of the company and the district to include as many community members as they can in the project. An outreach meeting will be scheduled, Kirk said. She asked for input from the trustees on the location and the time for the meeting and ways get the public involved.

Nathaniel Spells Sr., president and CEO of Construction Dynamics Inc., who is coordinating outreach, said if the final plans are submitted on Dec. 10, it would be practical to have the meeting two weeks out from that.

“The purpose of the outreach session is to allow minorities and women to network with some of the larger firms. Our goals and objectives are to maximize participation, particularly with minority firms. We want to try to keep as much of the money as possible in this area,” Spells said.

Also during the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Thelma Sojourner reported that Voorhees College will begin working with eighth-grade students in the district through the Voorhees College Scholars Program.

She also reported that the district held an outstanding Veterans Day program.

“Also, Ron Graves, a 1978 graduate of Denmark-Olar High School, was the guest speaker at the high school’s award’s day program, the superintendent said, adding that Graves is an accomplished pilot who wants to give back to the Denmark-Olar community.

Sojourner also announced that staff will attend “Why Poverty Matters” training to help them understand the impact that poverty has on learning.

During public comments, parent Stephanie Ephram expressed concerns regarding an incident that took place at the middle school involving her child. She said the principal and a school nurse ignored and disrespected her when she came to handle a situation regarding her son misplacing his student ID. Ephram, who told the board she is a very involved parent and her son is an “A” student, said she was dissatisfied with the treatment her family received.

Board Chairman Larry Bias advised her to speak with the superintendent who was not previously available. He told her that if she is still not satisfield after she speaks with Sojourner to come back before the school board.

Cathy Self, a Denmark resident, updated the board on the district’s partnership with the Feed My Sheep Ministries. Self said this is the 11th year that First Baptist Church in Denmark and the Denmark-Olar class of 1983 have sponsored a poster contest with the art department under the leadership of Dr. Anna Martin. The theme of the poster contest was “Our community coming together, meeting each other’s needs, in whatever way possible; working together to care for and unite our community,” Self said.

She noted that last year on Thanksgiving Day, the ministry served more than 1,000 traditional Thanksgiving dinners and gave away clothing and bags of groceries.

“This year, we anticipate doing the same,” she said.

The 2017 poster contest winners were as follows:

  • High School -- Jessie Collins, first place; Sheila Seranno, second; Jada Ashley, third; Tonya Walker, fourth; honorable mention, Tyrasia Murvin.
  • Middle School -- Laila Donaldson, first; Tyliyah Fold, second; La'Kia Robertson, third; honorable mention, Tonia Glover and Ernest Brown.

The district also recognized its students and teacher of the month as follows: Elementary School Student of the Month, Roniah Riley; Middle School Student of the Month, Sonashia Williams; High School Student of the Month, Quatasha Donaldson and Teacher of the Month, Dionne Bennett-Scully, Denmark-Olar Elementary.

Contact the writer: stok1156@bellsouth.net.

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