Purcell Public Schools officials learned Friday that the new junior high school has received a certificate of occupancy.

What that means, school board members were told at Monday’s monthly meeting, is that the new construction passed all inspections.

Chase Haines with Goldsby Construction said work remaining to be done on the building is included in a punch list of minor fixes.

His report was expanded on by Tyler Graves, construction superintendent for the contractor.

He reported the internet was up and operational in the school as of last week and reminded the board that he and the company are “a phone call away” if any issues are encountered in the new school.

Graves said the company hopes to complete the band storage building by the end of April and also wants to produce a fact sheet listing exactly what the community is getting out of the bond project.

“It’s a ripple effect,” he said.

Goldsby Construction is also available to help the district with any long-term planning.

“We’ve really enjoyed this process, working in Purcell and being part of the community,” he said.

The new junior high school will welcome students on the first day of school in the 2020-21 school year.

That will be August 13, according to the calendar the board approved on Monday.

The new calendar was one of two options presented to school employees to vote on.

It includes 168 days of instruction, five professional days  and two work days.

The last day of classes will be May 13 and high school graduation will be May 14.

State testing will be April 19 to May 7.

The calendar includes one snow day on April 2 and also eliminates the no school Fridays on the current calendar.

Assistant superintendent Jerry Swayze updated the board on technology across the district.

Security cameras at the new junior high school will provide 360-degree coverage outside the building.

A wireless network will be operational in each school by the start of the new school year and all classrooms will be equipped with digital antennas.

“It’s the nature of where the world is taking us,” Swayze said of the technology. “We’re not changing school directly. It is transforming with what is going on in the world.”

There are presently more than 1,200 student devices in the district.

The board also approved the contract and engagement letter hiring Sanders, Bledsoe & Hewett to conduct the district’s 2019-20 audit.

In a special meeting before the regular meeting, Dr. Ann Caine with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association conducted whole board development training.

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