NRHEG School Board
By REED WALLER
School Board Candidates
Results of filing for NRHEG Board positions were announced by Supt. Kevin Wellen at last Monday’s regular meeting of the NRHEG Board of Education.
The terms of board members Mike Moen, Lori Routh and Michelle Moxon are expiring, and all three members will be running for re-election this November. Also running will be new candidates Jay Crabtree and Peggy Radjenovich.
The iPad Handbook was approved. The handbook will be issued with the iPads and contains detailed information about care of the device, identification, repair and replacement, managing files, network connectivity, acceptable content, school and student responsibilities and insurance.
Options have been provided for financing. Families may pay the $20 iPad fee (which enables the student to take the iPad home) and the $25 school district protection plan for the full benefits of the iPad. Alternately, they may choose not to pay the $20 fee, which will mean the student will have to check their iPad out each morning and back in at the end of the school day. They may also purchase their own insurance, if they provide proof of coverage to the district. A final option will be to pay a deposit of $399 for the full value of the device, which will be retained against damage and loss and returned at the end of the school year.
Confidence in the students’ ability to keep the iPads in good shape remains high.
“Among those I’ve talked with,” Wellen said, “the damage rate has been under 10 percent.”
This is better than the administration has averaged so far; Wellen himself is the owner of an iPad that’s been dropped and has a cracked screen, but still works.
Football – Head: Dan Stork; Asst.: John Schultz; Junior Varsity: Andy Peterson; C: Taylor Holland; Junior High: Tom Peterson, second to be determined.
Volleyball – Head: Joe Kuchenmeister; Asst./J.V.: to be determined; C: Corrine Schuller; J.H. Stacy Simon and second to be determined.
Cross Country – Head: Mike Weber
Cheerleading – Head: Kari Buendorf
Primary Food Provider
Bids were taken from several food vendors in order to determine whom to award the Primary and Secondary Food Vendor status for the district. The plan is to agree to purchase from the Primary Vendor an amount up to $95,000 (out of $100,000 that was proposed for letting of bids), and the remainder (probably around $50,000) from a second vendor, retained in case the primary vendor is unable to supply some items.
Hawkeye Foods was chosen as Primary Vendor, with a markup of $1.18 per unit, and Indianhead was named Second Primary, with a markup of $1.20. The next nearest competitor carried a markup of $2.25. Commodities prices were also compared in making the selection.
Donations were accepted from the Waseca Area Foundation for $2,000 and from the Band Boosters for $4,955.92, both for the purchase of new drums for the NRHEG Marching Band.
The money was donated to the school rather than used directly to purchase equipment, so that the instruments will be school property and can be maintained and insured by the district.
Also donated was $25 from Sherry Scott and Jodi Anderson for the ECSE program.
Kitchen and cafeteria renovation
A representative from ICS Consulting Inc. presented a scenario to the board detailing a possible plan for the proposed improvements of the New Richland kitchen and cafeteria, as well as also-discussed new gymnasium and auditorium construction. The board restricted its discussion to the kitchen/cafeteria construction.
The existing Media Center would be divided diagonally down the center and the southern part would be added to a cafeteria/commons area. The new area would consist of the existing cafeteria room, the south half of the current Media Center, and what is now the hallway outside these rooms. The Media Center is currently displaying books only in the north third, with the other two thirds being used (inefficiently) for computer classes.
Since the construction would extend all the way forward to the school’s main entrance, the plan (estimated at about $1,067,000) was combined with another plan to reconstruct the front entrance area to create a secure entrance and a lobby. That part of the work is estimated at about $253,000, for a total project cost of about $1,321,000.
The ICS representative showed a funding breakdown that demonstrated how an additional Health and Safety levy could cover $150,000 of the cost of the kitchen/cafeteria, and general obligation bonds could cover the remainder. This would mean a 15-year obligation of about $100,000 per year.
Board member Lori Routh asked about the life expectancy of the new kitchen/cafeteria. It was guessed at approximately 20-25 years.
“About 40 years, if you use our current kitchen as an example,” joked Wellen, referring to the kitchen’s current state and the necessity for doing something soon.
How soon does ICS need a commitment from the district?
“We need to be in by the next board meeting,” Wellen warned, “if we want to have this (construction) in place for the next school year (fall 2013).”
Members expressed concern about how quickly a design could be produced for approval. No one was willing to approve a project for which an acceptable design wasn’t available.
“This quote is a price per square foot,” Wellen reminded the board. “The cost isn’t going to change unless we move some more walls.”
No action was taken, but it was agreed to continue the discussion at the board’s forthcoming work session.
The board will meet for a work session in the boardroom at 6 p.m. Wednesday, August 29.
“We have a lot of capital projects going,” said Wellen, “and we need to discuss where we’re headed and where we want to be in the future.”
The board will examine the kitchen/cafeteria remodel plan, the technology (e.g. iPad) initiatives, the remaining roofing projects, and the bus cameras project.
Also on the agenda will be discussion of possible gym and auditorium plans, the technology budget for the future, staff development, and the future of the district administrative organization.