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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Steve Watkins reviews a few notes before the July 9 school board meeting in the library at Decatur High School. This meeting marked Watkins' first as the new Decatur superintendent after taking over the position from Jeff Gravette June 26.

DECATUR -- After accepting the superintendent's position June 26, Steve Watkins was at the helm when the Decatur School Board convened its first meeting marking the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

Watkins' first order of business in his new post was an update on the progress of the new gym at Decatur Middle School. The new gym is nearing completion, with the office, nurse's station, restrooms and concession stand areas ready for occupancy by Aug. 1, two weeks before the start of the new school year.

The gym itself has only the front glass, basketball goals and bleachers left to complete. School officials are hopeful that this remaining work will be completed shortly after the opening day of classes Aug. 13.

Once complete, the Decatur High School volleyball team will play all of its home matches in the middle school gym. Unlike Peterson Gym, which can get extremely hot and unbearable at times, the middle school gym is air conditioned, making the matches much more comfortable for both players, coaches and spectators.

In other news, the board approved the purchase of a new push button entry system for both the middle and high schools, and Peterson gym. Decatur Northside Elementary has been on a similar system for the past five years.

Once this system is in place, faculty and staff will have either a badge or a special key that will allow them access to all the buildings on campus. Visitors to any of the Decatur School District's three campuses (access to the Pre-K school will be through the middle school office) will have to buzz in at the main entrance to gain access. Gravette already uses this type of system in all of its facilities.

General News on 07/18/2018

Print Headline: Watkins gives first superintendent's report during first board meeting of 2018-19 school year

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