School Board hears update on Phase One of Paxton School project


The Walton County School Board held its regular meeting on March 7, 2023, at the Tivoli Board Room. Board member Tammy Smith excused herself to attend a funeral. Because of the upcoming Spring Break conflicting with the next school board meeting, it was agreed to have that meeting next Tuesday, March 14 at the South Walton High School. 

An Affiliation Agreement to allow ECTC (Emerald Coast Technical College) Health Science students to complete clinicals with the FLDOH (Florida Department of Health, Walton County Health Department) was approved. It is for the provision of learning opportunities for health care profession students, to guide and direct a working relationship between the State of Florida, Department of Health, and the Walton County Health Department. 

A MOU (memorandum of understanding) was approved with Crestview Hospital Corporation to Provide Emerald Coast Technical College Practical Nursing Students Clinical Experience.

A number of vehicles were approved to be sold at the site. Four (4) buses no longer used or feasible to repair, one (1) van and two (2) box trucks no longer used or feasible to repair. 

Approval was given to Increase the bid threshold for purchases to $50,000.00 as authorized in current school board policy 7.70 by State Board of Education Rule 6A-1.012(7).

The board approved the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers invoice for Semester 2 of 2022-2023 School Year in the amount of $55,454.13, for Walton County Dual Enrollment student materials in an effort to engage students, strengthening education and to serve the needs of students.

Jill Smith, Director of Facilities, informed the board that they are behind schedule on Phase One (the design phase) of the Paxton School Project. Necessary design drawings are currently just over 50-percent complete, so it was decided to move the date for 95-percent completion to March 22. Details for provision for stormwater requirements need some additional time. 

Paxton resident Sandy Hunt spoke of her concern about the removal of the trees for the parking lot at the new Paxton School. Hunt spoke after Jill Smith did; Board member Jason Catalano told her that it was not the appropriate time to speak, that she should have spoken at the citizen comments portion of the agenda, before the topic was discussed. She was still able to comment and expressed concern that 27 trees would be removed regardless of whether or not they were healthy. Hunt left, but returned and was able to discuss her concerns. Another citizen commented that the agenda does not actually say that there are two opportunities for citizens to speak. The agenda states that the first opportunity is Citizen Input, which is limited to comment on agenda items only. The second opportunity is Public Comments. 

On the consent agenda:

• Approval was given to Aquaponic Engineering & Design for Freeport High School for an aquaponic gardening system. It is funded by FHS Aquaculture Appropriations and costs $190,300.00. 

• Approval was given for Fortinet Support Coterm & Renewal from DOF Creations – Annual Renewal of District Firewalls. Total amount from E-Rate $28,050.58.

• Board approval was given to generate purchase orders to Ferguson Waterworks, AAG Services, Mayer Electric and Williams Associates for New Freeport Middle School totaling $2,634,172.50. 

• Approval was given to purchase a 2023 CHEVY EXPRESS COMMERCIAL 3500 for $48,840.00 from Alan Jay Fleet Sales. 

• Board approval was given to generate a Purchase Order to Mayer Electric Supply for WISE Center MEP Repairs. (Roof Renovations / HVAC) for $84,659.00.

• Approval was given to Emerald Coast Technical College for new curriculum in the amount of $60,026.86. 

• Approval was given to renew the license from ClassLink, Sole Source Provider – Annual Renewal of License for $32,978.00. This is a one-year subscription to aid in technology matters. 

• Approval was given for Walton High School Seniors to travel via Charter Bus to Orlando, Florida on April 25-29, 2023, for Their Annual Senior Trip. 

• Approval was given for the Walton Middle School Band to travel via Charter Bus to Orlando, Florida on March 15-17, 2023 to Participate in “You’re Instrumental Workshop” at Walt Disney World.