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home : news : news Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6/21/2014 Email this articlePrint this article 
Northeast construction work on pace for April completion
The gym and science classroom addition at Northeast Community Schools is on schedule for completion in April 2015 and could be done even sooner depending on weather conditions, superintendent Jim Cox said this week.

"There's an outside chance we could be in there by February," if a break in rainy weather allows workers to finishing enclosing the new buildings, Cox said.

"We're still over budget, but it is what it is, and again, I will provide you with a plan as to how we'll overcome that," Cox said at the June 18 meeting of the Northeast Community School Board.

Despite value engineering portions of the project to reduce costs, the construction is about $500,000 over budget due to bids that came in higher than anticipated last fall. Poor winter construction conditions and difficulties with sodding new ball fields have added to the cost overruns, Cox noted.

"We always knew from the beginning we might have some overages. It's just part of the nature of construction. We did it with the safe room and we came up with the money, and we will come up with it here," Cox said.

Cox said he has looked at savings in several areas but decided against cutting expenses for a new trophy case and scoreboard because it doesn't make sense to build a new facility and not properly equip it.

Value engineering cut about $77,000 in costs for a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) room in the science wing, but trophy cases and infrastructure costs reduced the savings to about $50,000, he said.

Cox noted the district recently was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Clinton County Development Association (CCDA) to help defray some of the project cost.

"The point taxpayers need to know is, we have a plan, and we will begin implementing that plan in January," Cox said.

The school board will tour the new facilities at an upcoming meeting, likely in August, Cox said.

In other construction business June 18, the school board approved 11 change orders for a net increase of $163,326 and authorized 12 payments totaling $514,234.30 for work completed under existing contracts.

Board approves

new computer program


At the recommendation of secondary schools principal Alicia Christiansen, the board approved the addition of computer programming II to Northeast's high school course offerings.

Christiansen said the district has seen a substantial enrollment increase in computer courses since it added the virtual reality and programming course VREP three years ago.

"What we're finding is huge benefits from kids collaborating," Christiansen said. Like VREP courses, the computer programming II will be offered in the same block as computer programming I to allow for student collaboration, she said.

"When the STEM room gets up and running, we'll be having more discussion on these types of classes because that's what the STEM room is all about," Christiansen said.

The board also approved a sharing agreement with Central Community Schools for CNA and welding courses offered at Central's campus in DeWitt.

Twelve students took the CNA course in the 2013-14 school year and four students took the welding course. Thirteen Northeast students are enrolled in the CNA course for the upcoming school year and 12 students are enrolled in the welding certification program. The courses are open to juniors and seniors.

Other business

In other business, the board:

•Approved the employment of Jered Birt as associate middle/high school principal. Birt previously was employed as a physical education teacher in the Central Community School District.

•Accepted the resignation of early childhood special education teacher Mary Frazier. Frazier worked for the district for 11 years.

•Approved the appointment of Angie Diedrich as freshman girls volleyball coach.

•Approved a consent agreement for disciplinary action against an unidentified student after holding a closed session on the matter.

•Approved a 36-month lease agreement with VAR Resources for Lenovo laptop computers for the incoming freshman class as part of the district's 1:1 computer program.

•Approved the second reading of reviewed policies in the 600 series.

•Tabled the second reading of revised 600 series policies due to the absence of board members Chuck Corr and Rich Krogmann.

•Approved a memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency for the home school assistance program.

•Approved a contract with the Clinton YWCA for an after-school program beginning this fall.


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