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home : news : news Tuesday, October 17, 2017

3/27/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Central board not ready to move on plan for new maintenance facility

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

The Central Community School Board March 13 authorized operations director Keith Walker to get price quotes to replace the roof at Ekstrand Elementary and install air conditioning units in 66 classrooms, but board members said they need more information and want to see a plan on paper before approving expenses related to a proposed new transportation and maintenance facility.

The roof replacement on the original portion of the elementary is estimated to cost $300,000-$400,000, and the cost of installing air conditioning in 66 classrooms is estimated at $600,000-$700,000.

In addition to approving quotes for the roof and air conditioning projects, the board approved superintendent Dan Peterson's request to complete a survey of the current transportation center (Krieger property) and solicit a fair market value of the property from a realtor.

The survey will cost $1,500. Walker said the district never completed a survey when it purchased the property in 2006.

However, the school board balked at a request to spend an estimated $20,000 for engineering design on a combined transportation and operations facility.

Peterson and Walker previously presented three options for transportation and maintenance facilities.

Option one involves replacing the maintenance building roof at a cost of $25,000, replacing the windows and siding at the maintenance building for $30,000, resurfacing the transportation center parking lot at a cost of $300,000 and replacing the roof at the old transportation building for $20,000.

Option two, moving back to the old transportation building, involves replacing the maintenance building roof at a cost of $25,000, replacing the windows and siding at the maintenance building for $30,000, replacing the roof at the old transportation building for $20,000, wiring bus block heaters for $10,000, relocating a nutrition department freezer along with wiring and a cement pad for $20,000-$30,000 and unknown costs for moving offices and fuel tanks.

The third option, which Peterson and Walker seemed to favor, is to build a new, combined facility and sell the Krieger property.

Costs for replacing the roof at the old transportation building and relocating the freezer unit would be the same, with an estimated $300,000 cost to build a new facility and another $250,000 for a parking lot and driveway. The cost of land for a new facility is unknown.

Funding for all the capital projects will come from the physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL), which is separate from general education funds. State laws prohibit the district from using the PPEL funds to pay for teachers or other regular education program costs.

Central currently has approximately $1.8 million in undesignated PPEL funds. The district currently receives around $460,000 per year from the levy, but the majority of the funds are designated for general technology and maintenance needs.

In addition to discussing the roof replacement and air conditioning projects, the board reviewed a list of other capital project needs for future years.

Items include flooring replacement at the intermediate school ($60,000), high school boiler room renovation ($175,000), Ekstrand boiler replacement ($75,000), irrigation of practice baseball/softball fields ($30,000), replacement of elementary playground surface ($60,000), permanent seating at the baseball/softball complex ($100,000) and replacement of bleachers at the football field ($500,000).

The total cost of all capital project needs is $3.1 million.

Board approves agreement for school resource officer

With minimal discussion, the board approved a new contract with the DeWitt Police Department fixing the district's share of the cost for a school resource officer.

The position was funded by a state grant when it initially was created, and the district has paid varying amounts to the city of DeWitt to cover costs since the grant funds were exhausted.

The new agreement establishes the cost as 35 percent of the base salary of a five-year senior patrol officer based on 180 eight-hour days.

The cost to the district for the current year is $11,000.

Bartels named secretary/treasurer

The board approved a resolution formally establishing Tina Bartels as board secretary/treasurer.

The board at a Feb. 27 budget workshop approved hiring Bartels as the district's business manager to replace Cindy McAleer, who took a job with the Clinton School District.

Strategic plan presented

The board received a five-year strategic plan document to guide the district through 2018 but did not discuss or take any action on the plan.

The 18-page plan was written in the fall of 2012 by a committee consisting of teachers, administrators, board members and several students.

It establishes objectives and measurements for goals in five categories: learning environment, staff development, student achievement, resources and technology.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Approved a cooperative agreement with Calamus-Wheatland Community Schools for boys soccer.

•Approved a cooperative agreement with Clinton Community Schools for girls and boys swimming.

•Approved adoption of a new policy regarding the student use of motor vehicles that prohibits eighth-grade students from driving to school.

•Scheduled public hearings for 6 p.m., April 10, to solicit comment on the 2013/14 school year budget and on an amendment to the current-year budget. The amendment is to adjust expenditures from estimates to actual costs.

•Reviewed and approved the district's annual audit report. Auditors issued an unqualified opinion and found no instances of non-compliance or material weaknesses in control, but significant deficiencies were noted in internal control of financial reporting.

•Reviewed a report from high school principal George Pickup on student participation in dual-credit courses for which students receive college credit.

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