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home : news : news Friday, April 29, 2016

4/19/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Calamus-Wheatland hires air conditioning contractor

By Linda Watson
News Editor

The second round of bids to air-condition Calamus-Wheatland schools produced a winner.

At its meeting Monday night, the school board approved the lowest of three bids received April 10, ranging from $474,100 to $869,000. No bids were received at the first bid opening in March.

The board accepted the low bid of $474,100 from Schebler Mechanical of Bettendorf, the company that installed air conditioning last year at Central Community School District in DeWitt. Other bids received were from Air Control Inc. of Clinton for $495,000 and Bowker Mechanical of Cedar Rapids for $869,000. The low bid was about 3 percent higher than the project estimate.

Architect Mike Warden will prepare contract documents to be signed and the contractor will submit a production schedule for the work at the district's two school buildings. A pre-job meeting will be held to go over work situations and responsibilities and coordinate schedules between the schools and the contractor.

Board president Ryan Vander Heiden asked about the likelihood the project will stay on budget. Warden said the contract is firm unless unexpected situations are found, such as structural problems or asbestos being discovered as work progresses. The architect would inspect any change order requests and the board would have to approve change orders to the original contract. The contractor also will work closely with the district's roofers to make sure any existing roof warranties are not invalidated by the work.

The contract calls for the air conditioning to be completed by Aug. 15 for the start of classes.

"I think we should be able to get it done with no trouble," Warden said. "On those hot August days, I think you're going to see children come home from school a little happier."

Budget approved at lower tax rate

District residents and property owners will see lower tax rates under the budget certified for 2014-15. The budget calls for spending limits of $3.7 million for instructional services, $1.49 million for total support services, $257,300 for non-instructional uses and $912,720 for other purposes. The tax rate was set at $11.74 per $1,000 taxable value, down from the current rate of $12.69 per $1,000. The instructional support levy was set at 6 percent, down from the current 7 percent income surtax.

Board members expressed frustration at the funding formulas set by the state. Larry Banowetz said the state is using "a 40-year-old formula that does not meet current needs," while Scott Knudtson added "they're playing games with the numbers."

The district lost some funding when the state changed the level of incentives districts receive for sharing services with other districts, superintendent Lonnie Luepker said.

Test results show improvement

High school principal Christine Meyer reported on the district's results of Iowa Assessments tests given to grades 3-8 and 11 in math, reading and science.

She noted the Iowa Core programming helped improve reading scores overall and the third-grade science scores showed 100 percent proficiency, which is "something to celebrate."

In the 21 grade and subject areas tested, 14 showed improvement, she said.

"We are doing fine," she said. "Every class overall is proficient for their grade."

In other business, the board:

•Approved nine fundraising campaigns by school groups for 2014-15.

•Approved the list of 39 students eligible for graduation. Commencement will be 2 p.m. May 18.

•Approved an agreement with Eastern Iowa Community College District for college courses for 2014-15.

•Approved revisions to the board policy on graduation requirements, revising the sequence for science courses.

•Approved a student teaching agreement with Ashford University, Clinton.

•Approved a list of 11 teachers for a new after-school tutoring program in April and May for up to 60 students, funded by a $9,800 Clinton/Jackson County Early Childhood Education/Decategorization grant.

•Accepted resignations of Marika Pewe as varsity volleyball coach and Jake Richardson as assistant softball and assistant basketball coach.

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