The Sedalia 200 School Board met at Smith-Cotton High School on Monday night to approve several bids and discuss the possibility of adding armed guards to buildings in the district.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Triplett said, "it is time to look at having an armed security officer in each district building." Sedalia 200 has discussed the issue before, in light of recent school shootings around the country.

Triplett indicated that six additional officers would be needed for the district. Each position would start with a salary of approximately $38,000 per year. The total annual salary cost to the district would be about $228,000, for all guards.

Board member Steve Schilb expressed support for the addition of armed officers, saying "its time to start looking at the possibility and search for qualified individuals." Armed security personnel would be required to have a conceal and carry permit.

Schilb added, "it would be good to hire sworn officers, if they are available," indicating the possibility of hiring former military personnel from Whiteman Air Force Base or former police officers.

The school board emphasized the discussion is still in the preliminary phase. No official decision was made at Monday night's meeting. Triplett noted, "we always try to prepare for the what-if" (scenario).

During the course of the meeting, the board approved several equipment and food bids.

A bid for some of the computers in classrooms and labs was approved for Midwest Computech, in the amount of $522.00 per computer system. This is $36.87 less than last year's price, according to information in the board packet. The district attempts to rotate the computers every six years.

In a 6-1 vote, a bid for copy paper was approved for Premiere Paper and Packaging in Columbia, MO for a total cost of $61,854.40. That cost is for 2,680 total cases of copy paper. It was noted that 900 cases were included for Smithton, Otterville, LaMonte, and Stover.

The board also approved bakery bids from Springfield Grocer for the 2018-2019 school year, along with dairy bids awarded to Highland Dairy.

An asphalt repair bid was awarded to Higgins Asphalt, in Tipton, for $98,560. The repairs are for the staff parking lot and the running track at Sedalia Middle School. The repair project is on the district's 5-Year Maintenance Plan, with the asphalt scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

Another bid that is part of the 5-Year Maintenance Plan was approved for Dugan Glass, for the installation of new exterior doors at Horace Mann and Washington Elementary Schools. The total cost of the bid is $90,260.

The district also received three bids for the new construction of a warehouse and expansion to the district's maintenance shop. The bids came in between $1.4-million and $1.7-million. The board rejected all three bids, while Triplett noted that in regards to square-foot cost of new construction, it was too expensive for the district to move forward with the project at this time.

The next board meeting is scheduled for July 23, 2018 at Horace Mann Elementary.

Ryan Skaith