Architect Mike Spaeth presented an overview of his company, BILD, and the building projects on the Keys Public Schools campus that will be undertaken over the next year, during a board meeting Thursday, Nov. 14, at the high school.

A Fayetteville company, BILD has three registered architects who worked together for 10 years before opening their own firm five years ago, and they specialize in public school design with more than 60 projects in 15 districts. Keys is the first school in Oklahoma for the company and the second project in the state.

Spaeth, the architect on record, provided a timeline and details of the projects.

"We'll provide a spec book to be used for bids. We'll inspect weekly or as often as needed to see the project through to the close, and we'll come back to review before the contractor hands it over to you," he said. "And we'll check all one-year warranties with the construction company."

He also noted they want to help the school district improve, including future smaller projects such as roofing or dumpster covers.

Preliminary work, such as dirt work and pad preparation, started Nov. 1. Some projects are expected to be completed before others. The cafeteria could be completed in six or seven months. August 2021 is the deadline to complete all work.

A volunteer firefighter, Board Member Jerry Hooper inquired about the sprinkler systems interfacing with the old construction.

"We feel confident our design will accommodate with all sprinkler systems," Spaeth said.

He was on site at Keys campus recently, taking pictures and measurements with the survey team.

"We have about a four-month gap between design completion and availability of funds. We can put out bids and do as much ahead of time as possible," he said.

In other business, the school is looking to purchase a 14-seat passenger bus that will accommodate smaller groups such as cheerleaders, the academic team, girls' basketball, and varsity baseball teams.

"With the propane buses, we're saving. Propane is about half the price of diesel," said Robert Harbuck, transportation director. "They heat up faster and have 100-gallon tanks and run about 150 miles, so I fill them up every two days when they're just below half."

In his administration report, Superintendent Vol Woods said he'd like to apply for more propane buses.

"I don't know if they'll let us do it again, but I thought I'd apply. All they can say is no," said Woods.

Some computers are being updated. They all have to be 10 years or newer and Windows 10 compatible, according to Woods. The cost will be around $14,000.

"We're configuring two of the three labs for the ACT test requirements," Goss said. "The existing monitors will work. These computers will be a little higher memory than the ones we bought last time."

At the elementary and middle schools, Principal Tami Woods said they're busy and in good shape.

Literacy Night was Thursday, with library fun and Thanksgiving books and crafts. Friday at the middle school, a Leadership Career Fair was scheduled with representatives from Indian Capitol Technology Center, Cherokee Nation Career Services, Northeastern State University, NSU College of Optometry, Cherokee Nation WW Hastings Dental Clinic, U.S. Armed Forces, Army National Guard, and more.

"This gives students the opportunity to learn about career choices and interviewing representatives about the skills, training, salary, and other aspects of their work," Tami Woods said. "We have seen amazing results from implementing 'The Leader in Me' process at our school, and we see events like this as an extension of students taking ownership of their future careers. Our students are learning that goal-setting and data tracking processes help to clarify academic priorities, all of which will impact their future success."

She showed the board the behavior intervention forms, which are bullying harassment incident witness forms available in the office lobby for students or parents.

"This gives us a paper trail and helps us to be better," said Woods. "Rhonda Rice is our counselor. She's a therapeutic counselor and can identify if a student is a danger to hurt themselves or others. I feel like school shootings happen because someone dropped the ball, and we're doing our best to cover every possible option so we don't."

High School Principal Steven Goss bragged on the coaches who have cleaned up the weightlifting room and gave updates on sports teams.

Teachers are all registered with the ACT academy, and they're getting test samples to gear up for the testing, according to Goss.

A drug dog was recently on campus to search school grounds, cars and every locker.

"We only confiscated three knives and a couple of empty shotgun shells," Goss said. "We also drug-tested 30 random students the same day, so they know we're serious."

The board accepted the resignation of David Reisner, and hired Joshua Foreman to be the technology director.

What's next

The Keys School Board meets the second Thursday of the month at the high school at 6 p.m., with the next regular meeting set for Dec. 9.

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