Three contracts, more than $6 million. School board approves big-ticket agreements

The School Board of Manatee County approved up to $6.4 million in spending between three contracts on Tuesday evening.

The contracts — centering on security, textbooks and school maintenance — were among 21 other agreements on the meeting’s consent agenda. All “consent” items are approved with a single vote and no discussion, whereas “new business” items usually involve a debate or conversation before a vote on each agreement.

“All matters listed under the Consent Agenda are considered to be routine and will be enacted by one motion,” the agenda states. “There will be no separate discussion of these items. If discussion is desired by a Board member, that item will be removed from the Consent Agenda and will be considered at the end of the section.”

Board members unanimously approved the consent agenda with a 4-0 vote. The board’s newest member, James Golden, was out of town during Tuesday’s meeting.

Of the agreements totaling $1 million or more, the first was a contract for the installation and maintenance of “access control systems.” Such devises require an electronic card to enter district facilities.

Manatee’s school district already uses card access at many of its facilities, limiting access to secure areas, tracking entries and, if need be, quickly locking down a facility, according to the agenda.

The new agreement is worth $2.5 million, slated for the maintenance of existing systems and the installation of new devices. The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2022.

“The District is working towards the integration of a networked access control system,” the agenda states. “Integration and centralization will allow staff to use the same card at one or more facilities in addition to maintaining a single database.”

Board members also authorized up to $2 million in spending for instructional materials and textbooks, especially for three new schools that are scheduled to open in August. The new agreement adds to $4 million in previously authorized spending.

“Approval of this bid does not indicate immediate or complete expenditure of approved funds,” the agenda states.

A third agreement, worth approximately $1.89 million, will pay for roof replacements at Sara Scott Harllee Middle School, in Bradenton.

The board previously authorized nearly $6,700 in spending for pre-construction services, and nearly $167,000 for architectural and engineering services. Both agreements were approved under the consent agenda on Sept. 11.

Tuesday’s agreement is for work on three buildings at Harllee Middle.