School Board raised school meal prices, awarded bid for Lafayette Auxiliary Gym

The Williamsburg-James City County School Board agreed to increase breakfast and lunch prices in schools next year. 

The board members unanimously voted on the increase at their Tuesday night meeting. 

Lunch prices will go up by 10 cents and breakfast prices will increase by 5 cents. The change is due to a compliance issue, according to board documents. 

Board members discussed the increase briefly at their June 6 work session. The change is due to a compliance issue, according to board documents. 

The federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 partially reimburses divisions for meal costs of students who pay for meals and those on free and reduced-price lunch plans. Lunch prices are required to be more than the difference in reimbursement rates — 38 cents for paid lunches and $3.24 for free ones, according to school board documents.

The division’s 2016-17 lunch prices — $2.60 for elementary, $2.70 for middle and $2.85 for high schools — were less than that $2.86 difference.

The increase will bring breakfast prices to $1.35 for elementary, $1.45 for middle and $1.55 for high schools.

Breakfast prices don’t have the same balancing rule as lunch prices; those are increasing to offset costs. Supervisor of Child Nutrition Services Jane Haley said at the June 6 meeting this is the second consecutive year breakfast prices will rise.

Prior to 2016, prices had been stagnant since 2008. She said that time, food and labor costs have increased, so prices need to follow suit.  

“We have a delicate balance there to cover our costs as well as make our meals affordable,” board member Jim Kelly said June 6. “I know that’s a very complicated formula and situation to deal with.” 

Kelly clarified that the division doesn’t make money off of the meals; prices reflect operating costs.

On Tuesday the board also awarded Virtexco, a Hampton Roads general contractor firm, a $2.2 million contract to build the long-anticipated Auxiliary Gym at Lafayette High School. 

At the June 6 meeting, the division’s Senior Director of Operations Marcellus Snipes gave an overview of the free-standing gym, which will be 10,900 square feet and connected to the main school building by a canopy.  

In May 2016, the board awarded HBA Architects a contract to design the gym.

Virtexco's bid was lowest of the nine competitors and it includes the cost of adding additional basketball goals, acoustic wall panels and LED lights, which were alternates on top of the base cost. 

The bid is below the $2.9 million budgeted for the gym's construction. 

The funds come from the fiscal year 2017 capital improvement plan and year-end allotments from the fiscal year 2016 budget, division Chief Financial Officer Christina Berta said.

On Tuesday, the board will also approved an application for federal Title I, II and III grants amounting to $1.7 million and on renewing the lease for Child Development Resources to continue operating its early head start program out of Lafayette High School.

Williams can be reached by phone at 757-345-2341.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
84°