Bids go out for ‘STEAM Hut’ renovation at Albertville Intermediate School

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — Bids are now out for companies to renovate the former ‘Scout Hut’ into a ‘STEAM Hut’ where Albertville Intermediate School fifth and sixth graders will learn about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM).

“Obviously, we live in a world today where Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is the future so we want to give our students every opportunity that they can have to kind of foster those desires early in their ages,” said principal Robert Sims.

The school already has a STEM bus.

“In the STEM bus, we have lab disks. We have Z spaces. We have virtual reality goggles,” said Sims.

Sims said the ‘STEAM Hut’ will add even more space and curriculums for students.

“When kids are engaged, they learn more and adding the music and adding the theater and adding the projects along with the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math hopefully that kind of connects to a different part of the brain, so we can possibly reach students who learn in different ways,” explained Sims.

The ‘STEAM Hut’ is a sentimental project for the veteran principal.

“Back in the early 80s I was a student here, back then it was Evans Elementary School, and I was a scout here in the old ‘Scout Hut’. I have a lot of memories here as a student. We always referred to it as the ‘Scout Hut’, so just kind of keeping that name and going with the ‘STEAM Hut”, we’re excited to be able to use the building and have students  enjoy it like I did when I was a student,” said Sims.

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Stapleton Public Schools board proposes bond issue for addition, remodeling at school | Education

The movement toward the project began in earnest last year, Hora said.

“We looked at the school and the board wanted to narrow it down to what they felt was really needed,” Hora said, “and to do it fiscally responsibly.”

A brochure identifies what the project would address: safety/security, non-code-compliant restrooms, substandard locker rooms, a non-private student health and services area, a congested commons area and aging parts of the building that are no longer adequate.

Gaffney said security to monitor who enters the building is inadequate.

“The camera system doesn’t take a very wide view and there may be more than one person wanting to check in,” Gaffney said. “In visiting with other superintendents, that’s a real safety issue.”

Another issue is the music room, which lacks adequate storage, Hora said. A new music room would be part of the addition on the east side of the building and would offer adequate storage space for music equipment, she said.

The current office space and music room would be opened up to create a larger commons area, and the concession stand would occupy part of that area as well.

“Then there are the locker rooms,” Hora said. “The junior high locker rooms are in the 1914 building in the basement. They’ve done a good job of trying to fix them up, but they are just inadequate.”

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‘Game changer:’ Trump targets virus tests to blacks, school children, nursing homes, disaster areas

The Trump administration has put a focus on nursing homes, hospices, school children, black colleges, first responders and Native Americans in its expanding effort to distribute for free 150 million coronavirus tests to states.

Mike Pence wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump arrives in the Rose Garden with Vice President Mike Pence Monday to speak about coronavirus testing shipments to states.

© Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump arrives in the Rose Garden with Vice President Mike Pence Monday to speak about coronavirus testing shipments to states.

In a coordinated effort capped by Vice President Mike Pence’s hour-long call with 43 governors to finalize the plan, the administration is prioritizing areas where the infections are 5%-10% and first responders.

What’s more, the administration through the Department of Health and Human Services is coordinating needed training for the Abbott BinaxNOW tests.

The new effort won praise from New Jersey’s Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy who told Pence in the Monday roll-out call, “Thank you Mr. Vice President and the whole team, thank you for everything but certainly thanks for today. This is a game changer, we’re proud of the testing regime that we have built with your great partnership with a lot of people in that room.”

Some media reports have claimed that the effort, spelled out Monday, has suffered from coordination hangups.

But Michael Bars, a White House senior communications adviser, said the planning has been in the works since Trump announced the effort in a March Rose Garden event.

“In March, President Trump called for an aggressive private-public partnership to advance testing capabilities in the United States – now six months later we are witnessing this promise in action

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Epcor contractor fires worker, contributes to $30,000 donation after racist smudge ceremony encounter at school

a sign on the side of a building: A construction company contracted by Epcor has fired the employees who disrupted a smudging ceremony outside Edith Rogers School last week.

© Provided by Edmonton Journal
A construction company contracted by Epcor has fired the employees who disrupted a smudging ceremony outside Edith Rogers School last week.

A construction company contracted by Epcor has fired an employee after workers disrupted a smudging ceremony outside a southeast Edmonton school last week.

Wilco Contractors Northwest, issuing a statement on the company’s official Twitter account Tuesday, said employees working on a dry pond project near Edith Rogers School made racist comments and disrespectful actions towards participants at the ceremony.

On Saturday, a Twitter user identifying as a teacher at Edith Rogers School, said construction workers “revved their engines and yelled racial insults at staff and students” while the school hosted a smudging ceremony Friday.

On September 25, we let down the community,” the company tweeted Tuesday. “We apologize unreservedly to the students and staff who were hurt by these actions. We take full responsibility for what occurred, and we are taking concrete action to ensure this never happens again.”

The company said it undertook an internal and external review and terminated a staff member who was involved. It also announced it will be implementing cultural and Indigenous awareness training.

“T o support the broader community, we are pleased to be joining Epcor and Sureway Construction Group in jointly funding a $30,000 donation to the Edmonton Public School Board’s Amiskwaciy Academy,” read the Twitter statement.

Arthur Mann, president and CEO of Wilco Contracting, said the company has terminated one staff member and are continuing to review documentation of the event.

He said the company has sent a personal apology to the school, students and parents involved as well as Grand Chief Billy Morin.

“We have

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