Capital project construction in full swing

By Kelsie Hoitomt

GLENWOOD CITY – Those who drive past the Glenwood City School District can see the piles of dirt and large machinery moving around as the capital project construction is in full swing.

In addition to the new football and track and the new road, the Glenwood City Board of Education recently approved the adding of a pavilion, concession stand and ticket booth. These fixtures will be built into and onto the west side of the existing bathroom facility.

In Monday night’s meeting (June 10) the Board voted unanimously that the funding for these buildings is to not exceed $30,000.

 Also going on outside on the school grounds will be the building of a storage shed onto the east side of the current bus garage. The Board also voted on the amount to be spent for this project and that is to not exceed $35,000.

Once the storage shed was approved, there was a lengthy debate over what the color of the building should be as well as the maintenance garage and the bus garage as they will be repainted.

“Anything associated with that athletic field should be uniform color,” said Board President Charles Rasmussen.

After going back and forth on whether the buildings should have blue walls or white walls, the motion was finally made by Board Treasurer John Logghe to leave the decision up to the large committee of volunteers that have been helping with the outside projects. This motion was seconded by Judy Achterhof and approved on a 5-2 vote.

Superintendent Tim Emholtz shared about the update on the capital projects as a whole and said that the outside projects are slightly behind schedule, but ahead of schedule inside.

Several volunteers including Matt Main and Mark Wink were praised for their hard work and time they have dedicated to helping with the football field and track. With their help, dirt was moved and the electrical work was able to be laid under the football field.

Also recently finished was the piping of the cement culvert. Projects that should be finished soon are the crown and drain tiles on the football field.

Emholtz said that the district was given recent approval to use sand from the pit south of the school, which will save them significant money.

Lastly with the outside update, it was shared that there is talk about excavating the area behind home plate of the baseball field. This would level the hill side some so water would no longer run down and create a huge puddle over the plate.

Inside the school, things are moving along very well with some plumbing already complete and a couple areas ready for cement to be laid within a week.

There have been a couple set backs with some electrical wires having been hit, which resulted in a loss of power to some rooms last week, but that has been taken care. Also it was discovered that a bearing wall was hidden behind the cement between the family consumer room and the chemistry room. This is getting taken care of properly by the Market and Johnson construction workers.

With everything that is happening on the school grounds, the extra hands are always nice to have around. With that being said, the Board approved summer help from students of up to 100 hours with each individual earning minimum wage.

In other news, to further prepare and be actively involved with the ongoing discussion of the sand mine in town, the Board approved Valentine and Associates, LLC as their consultant on ambient air monitoring.

Mr. Valentine has over 38 years of experience in environmental services in consulting and government with years spent as the director of Air Quality for the State of Minnesota with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He was also worked at the Braun Intertec Corporation and the Minnesota for Earth Tech, Inc.

The company will assist the school district in drafting a proposal to Vista Sand that would indicate they would be required to prepare an air monitoring plan that would be submitted to the school district for approval.

The company said that if schedules permit, the monitoring network could begin operation prior to facility start-up so baseline date could be provided. However, ideally it’s best to have at least six months to one year, or more, available for collection of pre-operational data to ensure that it is representative.

All together, the proposed cost of Valentine and Associates, LLC is estimated to be around $2,500.

In further discussion about the proposed mine, Emholtz also shared that he has been in contact with Glenwood City’s Mayor, John Larson. He has asked that Mayor Larson keep the school board in the loop about what is happening and when meetings are.

There has also been dialogue between Emholtz and Mayor Larson about taking a bus/buses to other mine sites for city council members, board members and general public members to see. The school would provide the means of transportation and the city offered to pay for the gas, but nothing has been set in stone yet.

Also currently, the Board and Vista Sand are developing an MOU so that if there is an ordinance created within the city, the MOU will be a part of that ordinance or at least be made aware of so students and staff are kept safe. The same is intended if the sand mine is approved at the county level.

In other topics, the Personnel and Negotiations Committee gave the update on the 2013-14 insurance estimates, which are currently at a 20 percent increase, but that is just a projected number right now.

Also shared was that the CPI, which is used to determine what the maximum the Board can provide for salary increases without going to a referendum, was 2.07 percent. The school district will not be exceeding that 2.07 percent and the actual percentage may be lower, depending on how negotiations go and other variables like insurance increases.

Tim Johnson shared in his report that the athletic code meetings will now be online and students/parents will no longer have to attend the meetings at the school. A link will be provided on the school’s website in the future.

Lastly, there were a few other items approved including a ten cent increase to all the current lunch prices so elementary lunch will now be $2.05 and middle school/high school lunch will be $2.15.

The Board approved an information and technology plan that is online through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website.

The Board approved the deleting of section 21.03, Educational Lane Adjustments, from the professional handbook.

The Board approved the first reading of the new policy #823.2 in Records Retention.