HURON — The Huron School board met Monday night in the conference room at Huron Arena and approved the contract for what they hope are three expansions of elementary schools in Huron.
On Monday night they approved the contract with Tellinghuisen Construction Inc. of Willow Lake to construct eight classrooms and a set of bathrooms on the north end of Madison Elementary School. The addition amounts to 10,700 square feet. The contract sets the cost at $1,475,000.
“This is not connected to the bond issue we have been talking about,” said the district‘s Business Manager Kelly Christopherson. “This is being funded through the Capital Outlay Fund through the current tax levy.”
He said the district has already had a pre-construction meeting with the architect, Koch Hazard, along with the general contractors and sub-contractors.
Some work is already under way.
“We are going to see fencing at the site which is already installed,” said Christopherson. “We are going to see relocation of the gas lines, and relocation of the water and the electricity, removal of some trees and concrete as they begin to clear the site in anticipation of digging and (starting) the next phase.”
During the discussion of the contractual agreement Christopherson also answered a question on what the penalties are.
It has a completion date of Friday, Aug. 2, and Christopherson explained the penalties.
“The penalties in the contract are $1,000 per calender day if that new addition is not turned over to us,” said Christopherson. “In addition to that there is a $10,000 bonus in contract for having it done on Aug. 2.”
The contract was approved unanimously.
In new business the board voted to approve an item for next year’s budget early regarding the K-8 Reading and Language Arts program.
The reason for premature approval for the program is to get some of the materials early so teachers can get familiar with them.
“Professional development is going to be one of the key pieces of this program,” said the district’s director of instruction and federal programs, Darci Love.
She said June 3-6 is the training for elementary teachers and May 22 is for the middle school teachers.
“That is part of the reason I am here today is one, to get your approval and to move forward with this adoption for our K-8 reading and language art program, but the second piece of that is in order for us to get those materials at the end of May, we have to get those purchased as quickly as possible.”
She said the budget is typically submitted May 1, but she asked the board and it later approved adopting the program as presented Monday night for K-8 at a cost of $159,000 with the maximum appropriation for the entire program being 230,000.
The remainder of the money will be spent on the high school program needs which have not been set.
“We are still working on the selection of (the high school) series at this point,” said Love. “It is a little more complex when you get to high school and talk about the different classes that are offered and credits and all of those things.”
She said the group has looked through a variety of programs already and have some of them coming back to go deeper into their presentation.
Among the reports given to the board was a fantastic presentation by three students and their oral interpretation performances. The three students were Ben Halbkat, Maddy Klein and Maddy Gohn.
The KIDS First committee also gave a report on its efforts to pass the $22 million bond for the elementary schools in today’s election.
Committee members Shari Pyle, Bush Fullerton, Chris Studer and the group’s chairman, Garret Bischoff, all took turns speaking.
Pyle reported that the committee has had more than 30 demonstrations to the public, including community service organizations, businesses and also at three parent-teacher conferences at elementary schools.
“I would like to thank Mr. Nebelsick,” said Pyle. “He probably attended 80 to 90 percent of these presentations. It was great for us as committee members in the event that a question came up that we were unable to answer.”
Fullerton then gave an update on the fundraising committee.
The group raised just under $15,000 and they have spent around $11,500, all locally.
“At this point we have a positive balance. We have some more bills coming up,” said Fullerton. “We are probably going to spend in the neighborhood of $13,700 officially before this thing is over, which will give us a little bit of a balance at the end. Bear in mind this committee is not just this cause — it is our primary cause right now — but KIDS First is a political action committee that could very well be back in the forefront for other issues that would benefit the school district.”
Studer spoke about the marketing committee.
He listed the materials that the committee got out to the public, whether it be informational mailings or advertising in the Plainsman, on four different local radio stations and even the social interactive Internet site, Facebook.
He said the committee targeted around 4,000 homes, which amounted to 6,000 voters that are most likely to vote in elections.
“We inserted one into the Huron Plainsman and that was about 7,500 or so,” said Studer. “On radio we did 112 ads per station, on four stations, so well over 400 radio ads over the last two or three weeks.”
Bischoff wrapped up the presentation with a few statements.
“This bond issue is an economic development tool for Huron,” said Bischoff. “If you want future business and future families to come here — we need to have this. We need modern schools.”
He did say that if the voter’s delay the bond issue it could cost $4 million for every 1 percent change in bond rates and another $1.1 million in construction costs.
“One thing is for certain; we need to upgrade our schools,” said Bischoff. “We do it now, today, or we pay more for it later.”
He finished with this thought.
“Our school district, our school board, our school’s teachers have done the best job they can with what they have,” said Bischoff. “It’s time to do something for them. Tomorrow (today) it’s time to go out and vote. We need a 60 percent “yes” vote to build elementary schools that are 21st century learning environments.” For the complete article see the 04-09-2013 issue.
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