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School Board looks at construction projects

Posted: Thursday, Oct 17th, 2013

HURON — The Huron School board again dealt with construction items dealing with the renovation of and additions to the district’s elementary schools, while also getting an update from Kelly Christopherson, the district’s business manager.

Among the items the board acted on referring to the constructions was to approve Gary and Snow and Associates to be the firm the district will use in removing asbestos from the school.

According to Christopherson, the asbestos removal is being bid separately from the rest of the renovation in an effort to remove the middle man, in this case the general contractors, thus saving the district money.

This particular contract is for the maximum $46,750.

“That is what they think it will cost,” said Christopherson. “If they can do it for less then they will bill us for less. Snow and Associates have a history of that. They will do it for what it takes.”

He said the plan would be for the school to end in May and the district would have a couple of days to empty it out before Snow and Associates begin their work, which typically takes around three weeks. Once he finishes with a portion of the building, the general contractor can come in right behind him and start the renovations

The second and third construction items on the agenda had to deal with making the final payments to Todd Brusque Construction for the Buchanan site work and to Tellinghuisen, Inc. for the completion of the Madison addition.

Both were approved by the board.

Christopherson said while the weather has played havoc with some of the addition construction, the weather did enable the site construction process to be ahead of schedule.

“The Buchanan site project was the parking lot, the playground and preparation of the building,” said Christopherson. Because the weather was good for so long, they were able to pave the parking lot this fall instead of leaving it gravel and paving next summer as planned.

However, the recent rains have slowed the start of the building of the additions at Buchanan.

“The first things we will see happening is to fence off the project site and start excavation for the footings of the new construction,” said Christopherson. “The rain we had this weekend has slowed this project down. We should have been digging for footings on Monday, hopefully it will be dried out enough to start on Thursday.”

He also said that a pre-construction meeting was held on Oct. 1, and work commenced immediately, even with the excavation delay.

The next phases that the district will be looking to get going on will be the completion of Madison Elementary School’s additions, bidding the kitchen equipment for all three elementary buildings and the beginning of the Washington Elementary School’s addition and renovations

Christopherson said that a team from the architectural firm of Koch Hazard is planning to meet with staff members and work through the building plans on Oct. 31.

The firm then will take back suggestions and return with those changes incorporated on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

The goal is to bid the Madison and Washington projects early in 2014.

The food service bid will be likely made after the plans are finalized for all of the schools, so what is needed and what space they have will be known.

The final bit of construction business was to announce the district will be closing Washington Attendance Center (or school) for the 2014-15 school year. Fourth graders will be attending Jefferson School for one more year and fifth graders attending middle school for a final year.

After the renovations, the fourth graders will move to Washington Attendance Center and Jefferson will be closed. Fifth graders will no longer attend school at the middle school, but instead will be taught at Washington.

The board also approved two contracts; one with the city and the other with the South Dakota State Fair.

The city contract is for five-years and covers the parking agreement of the lot that the city and district share at Central Park.

The lot is located on the southwest corner of the park and is used by Splash Central customers, Central Park patrons, and the district’s students and fans at the Tiger Activity Center.

Either party can get out of the agreement with 90 days notice.

The State Fair contract centers around the use of the district for storage of school buses and vehicles.

The district does have a long range goal of creating a permanent space for these vehicles.

The board also approved a first reading of changes to Section D of the district’s policy manual.

The only discussion came with regard to a suggested aligning with the Associated School Boards of South Dakota that audits be performed at least once every two years. The district has had a policy of yearly audits and Board Member David Wheeler suggested the language of the annual audit remain.

He said it could still be changed at a later date, but at least it would have to be brought to the board for a change.

A pair of grant applications were approved by the board, both dealing with the rapidly growing and popular Destination Imagination program.

Both Dakota Provisions and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky will provide grants to help cover the cost for students to be taken home on the school bus during the year, as well as paying for one trip to a program event and the possibility for a trip to state.

The trip to state seems more than likely as the program had state qualifiers last year and the program has nearly tripled in size this year from 35 students to 93.

In total, the program is asking for around $3,000 to fund those expenses.

The board also took care of selecting a delegate for the upcoming Association of School Boards of South Dakota Assembly planned next month in Pierre.

The item was tabled at the last meeting with the absence of new board member Garret Bischoff, who ended up being the nomination at this week’s meeting.

Board President Tim Van Berkum was selected as the alternate.

The board also approved the annual In-Door Marching Band Performance, which will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 4, at Huron Arena. Besides the marching band, the middle school band and the cheer and dance teams will perform.

The board also approved to renew its contract with Delta Dental Insurance with a 5.6 percent increase.

Besides Christopherson’s business managers report, the board heard reports from Superintendent Terry Nebelsick and Director of Assessment Gay Pickner, which will be discussed in a separate story.

For the complete article see the 10-16-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-16-2013 paper.

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