Thursday July 2nd, 2020 2:14AM

Gainesville City School Board holds first reading on named locations after phase outs

By Alyson Shields Reporter

The Gainesville City School Board looked over a revised FDC policy for their schools at Monday night’s meeting. 

The plan included a revision about carrying over signature gifts - including ceremonial names - after buildings are phased out at the schools in the district, or when schools are torn down and rebuilt. 

"What we're really doing is adding the language, and it will come up at the next meeting, to allow signature gifts that are financially backed," said Superintendent Jeremy Williams. "We have a lot of buildings or components of buildings that are named after people who were influential in the history of Gainesville, as a teacher, a community member or a leader in our community. And as we start to look at SPLOST down the road, we know that's going to be a topic of conversation."

The revised language included a portability section, allowing the district to transfer the component of one building to another. "So as buildings may be repurposed, or as things like Butler High, was named after E.E. Butler, but that's no longer part of the school system," Williams said. "So it will give us a chance to look at names that will transfer from one building to the next, or within a building from one location into the next."

The plan also addressed what to do with names once the buildings or campuses were closed or no longer part of the school system. Williams said the updated policy would allow them to retire a named location and keep it on the school system's historical records if they chose not to move the name to a new location.

The school system is seeking public comment on the matter. Anyone who wishes to do so can leave feedback on the school system website or email the superintendent directly. 

The board also voted to approve a change in vacation days for certain employees. Those on Public School Employee Retirement System (PSERS) would now get a payout for their unused sick or vacation days instead of leaving them on the table. 

"Most of our employees have Teacher Retirement System, which we accrue leave that we can use towards retirement. But under PSERS, you can't use leave, sick leave towards retirement," said Williams. As employees save up days, Williams said in the end, they'd walk away and leave sometimes as many as 50 days on the table. "The discussion we had (Monday) we're looking at rewarding that and paying that out at a rate of $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, or $4,000, depending on the range of days they had saved towards retirement."

That item will be brought forth next meeting as an item on the consent agenda. 

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