The Glynn County Board of Education voted Tuesday to allow the Golden Isles College and Career Academy to pursue a grant to renovate the school’s culinary lab.

The Glynn County Board of Education voted at its meeting Tuesday to allow the Golden Isles College and Career Academy to apply for a grant that would support renovations on the school’s kitchen.

GICCA needed approval from the school board before the school could apply for the grant, which will help cover the costs of a major renovation.

Rick Townsend, CEO of GICCA, explained to the school board members at a work session on May 9 that the cost feasibility of the project will be determined as the plans move forward.

“It’s a need,” he said. “The building’s 10 years old now. The kitchen’s 10 years old.”

The plan is to make the culinary lab into more of a training kitchen that can serve more students.

“It’s going to be a win-win for everybody involved,” Townsend said.

The school board also approved a site development proposal for the new Altama Elementary School. The board approved a $1,587,854 proposal from Ridge Enterprises.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, several people voiced dissatisfaction with plans they said exist to not renew the employment contract of Duane Hairston, the Marine Corps Junior ROTC instructor at Glynn Academy.

“I think you have a very outstanding marine and an outstanding instructor, and you should reconsider and think about keeping him and giving him some assistance,” said George Metz, a Glynn County resident, at the meeting.

John Bostain, whose son is enrolled in the MCJROTC program at Glynn Academy, asked the school board why that decision had been made.

“I’m a little confused,” he said. “I hear that he’s not going to be retained, so I’m kind of curious. I went and saw Mr. (Matthew) Blackstone, and here’s what I heard — ‘He’s not a good fit.’”

Bostain said he felt that Hairston has brought great value to the position in his year on the job.

“My question is — why are we not retaining him?” Bostain said. “… Not retaining Master Sgt. Hairston is a grave mistake.”

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