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(PANA) — During its Monday meeting, members of the Pana School Board unanimously approved plans which tentatively calls for bids to be sought on July 7, 2022 for a new $24 million elementary school. The school is planned to be built to the south of the junior high school and to the west of Brummett Field at the high school complex.
Ryan Fuhler, of Poettker Construction, presented a tentative timeline of the bidding process and construction. It calls for bids to be released on July 7 and due back to the school district by July 28, 2022. He said they would review the bids between Aug. 1 and 5 and have recommendations for the Board at their Aug. 15, 2022 meeting.
School Superintendent Jason Bauer said there would probably be a Facilities Committee meeting prior to the school board meeting to review the bid recommendations.
Construction costs are pegged at $19 million with nearly $1.5 million in construction management costs. Over $835,000 is set aside for contingency. This brings construction costs to an estimated almost $21.7 million. The remaining nearly $3 million is budgeted for technology, equipment and furniture, services, architectural and engineering fees and testing and investigation.
The estimated price tag does not include about $980,000 for asbestos abatement and demolition of both Washington and Lincoln elementary schools, once the new school is put into service. Fuhler said any leftover contingency funds could be used to finance that part of the project.
In other matters, a revamped 2022 Fiscal Year budget was approved. Under the new budget, the Educational Fund will show a surplus of nearly $2.3 million after an increase in revenues of almost $613,000 with increased expenditures of just over $1 million.
Financially, we are in a great spot going forward,” Bauer said. “We have been able to double the Education Fund balance.”
However, he did warn the Board with the current state of the economy, some of the school aid payments from the state may be declining in the future.
Bauer said there was no expenses paid for out of the Working Cash line item and it shows a balance of almost $66,000. Capital Projects also shows a balance of almost $429,000. He said these funds could be used for any maintenance projects for the junior high and high school. With the construction of a new elementary school, he did not foresee spending any money in maintenance costs at either Washington or Lincoln schools.
The Operations and Maintenance Fund (-$159,000) and the Transportation Fund (-$176,000) are the only ones showing a deficit. Despite these deficits, Bauer said the state considers the ’22 FY Budget to be balance.
The fiscal year will end on June 30, 2022.
Bids for liability insurance were sought and the Board accepted the proposal from EMC Insurance at a cost of $138,550. The cost reflects a nearly $2,600 reduction in cost from the previous year which translates to almost two percent.
In other business, Nicole Blodgett was appointed the District Treasurer. She replaces Heather Phillips who will leave to position on June 30, 2022.
An update of maintenance projects denoted Eighth St. will be oiled and rocked on June 24. Work on the new doors at the junior high is expected to begin this week. Roof work at the high school is scheduled for mid-July and the resurfacing of the junior high school parking lot is set to begin the second week of July.
Fees for the upcoming school year were approved. Almost every fee will be the same as last year with the exception of adult lunches at the school cafeterias which increased 25¢ to $3.50 and the fee for Lake Land College on-line courses which are now $400, up $25 over a year ago.
The Board held a 50-minute executive session and when they returned to open session, the following employment actions were approved:
Hired: Kayla Berner, Kindergarten teacher; Jacob “Jack” Epley, junior high PE teacher. He was also named high school head track coach; and Jan Braden, girls varsity basketball coach and 7th grade girls basketball coach. Resignations: Heath Strom, all teaching and coaching positions with teaching contract starting Aug. 15, 2022; Patrica Brandis, junior high PE teacher; Patricia Tynan, K-5 music teacher; and Mike Weideman, girls varsity head soccer coach. Additional duties: Jason Bauer, 8th grade girls basketball coach and Amanda Skinner, high school cross country coach.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.