The West Central Area School Board agreed to go ahead with the sale of General Obligation Bonds in the amount of $1,235,000 for capital improvements at all three WCA school buildings. The bonds will pay for a new roof at the Secondary School, a new parking lot at the Secondary School, a new roof at North Elementary (west side only), and a new roof over the gym at South Elementary. The bond will be serviced from the Long Term Facilities Maintenance (LTFM) Revenue.
LTFM is revenue previously levied for Health and Safety and Deferred Maintenance. But last year the Minnesota Legislature replaced that fund with Long Term Facilities Maintenance Fund. There will be no new additional taxes levied to pay for this project.
Superintendent Pat Westby recommended going forward now, while the bond market is favorable and the work can all be done this summer.
Because the total amount of replacing the parking lot will exceed $100,000, and the roof replacement at the Secondary School, is also expected to exceed $100,000, the board approved advertising for bids for those two projects.
Board Chair Daryl Amundson gave an update on the search for a new superintendent to replace Westby, who resigned effective June 31, 2016.
“We have hired PEER Solutions to lead the search and opened a posting for the position,” Amundson explained. “There is a fair amount of interest in the position.”
Amundson said the search committee will meet on May 11 and hone down the candidates to four, who will be interviewed on May 18. Amundson said he is in the process of forming a team of stakeholders who will be part of the interviews, that will include staff, administration, and members of the community. Amundson said he hopes a new superintendent will be named by late May and this person will be ready to start work as close to July 1, 2016 as is feasible.
The board accepted letters of resignation from three teachers: Jolene Wagner, 3rd grade teacher at North Elementary; Barb Heinen, Science/Media teacher at the Secondary School; and Chris Shea, math teacher at the Secondary School.
“All three are moving on to different ventures in their careers,” explained Westby.
The board agreed to hire for two positions: Cindy Klatt, dishwasher at the Secondary School; and, Aleaiah Garza, Custodian II.
“We were very pleased with the interview pools for the custodian position and both employees come to WCA very highly recommended,” said Westby.
Based on a recommendation from Activities Director Pat Anderson, the Board agreed to a new three year contract with Athletic Training Services from Douglas County Hospital. WCA’s contract with ATS expires at the end of June, and will be for $8,600 the first year then $8,700 for each of the next two years.
The board also agreed to solicit bids for a new two-year transportation services contract. The current contract with Palmer Bus Company expires at the end of June.
Community Education Director Ryan Severson reported that summer recreation activities are all scheduled and offerings will be in the next edition of the Roundtable. He said there will be Knights Athletic Training at the school all summer long, and an adult class in Middle Eastern history coming up in mid-August. Information is available on the school’s website. Also, preschool classes are ready for registration for next year, and parents must register online only.
Activities Director Pat Anderson reported that after a fast start, spring sports have been somewhat hampered by the weather in the last week or so.
“We have had 15 activities postponed so far,” Anderson said.
While most games are able to be rescheduled, track and field are harder.
Buildings and Grounds Manager Wade Nibbe reported that the boilers in all buildings were turned off last Wednesday.
Elementary Principal Sarah Suchy reported that the Elementary carnival fundraiser raised about $5,000 for elementary classroom libraries. She reminded parents that the Fun Run and Track and Field Day at North will be May 25.
Superintendent Westby told the board that there is a lot of testing going on in the schools at this time and the staff does a great job calming kids down, etc. He reminded parents that there are only seven weeks left to the school year, Baccalaureate will be held on May 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the Secondary School auditorium, school will be dismissed on June 2 at 11:30 with no noon lunch, and graduation will be on Friday, June 3. The class video will start at 7:00 p.m. and the ceremony at 7:30.