By Ashley Rader
The Elizabethton Board of Education approved new equipment and material purchases for three of the system’s schools, but the road to approval was paved with questions about the bid process and requests for delays on the vote.
The board approved the purchase of an ambulance simulator for the Career and Technical Education Department at Elizabethton High School for $24,774; new curtains for the T.A. Dugger Junior High School auditorium for $16,020 and new energy-efficient Trane heating and cooling controls for Harold McCormick Elementary for $30,580, which will have $10,025 reimbursed through a grant.
Saying she was not comfortable with the number of bids received on the items, board member Connie Baker first called on the board to defer consideration of the curtains and the energy-efficient controls until another meeting.
She said she felt more time should be given to allow local vendors to bid, and possibly bring in better prices on the items. Baker said each item should have three bids before the board voted on the bid.
Board chair Rita Booher suggested the board leave the items on the agenda so that the system administrators in charge of each request could explain the process and answer questions.
CTE Director Brian Culbert explained the ambulance simulator would be used by the health education classes, which were growing in enrollment every year. The simulator would be installed by the manufacturer in the classroom. He said it would be set up so that students outside of the simulator could view the activities inside using a Smartboard.