The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

February 20, 2012

Work proceeding on schools

DEWITT — The $20.9 million facilities construction project at Central Community Schools in DeWitt is nearing completion, with students now attending classes in their new middle school.

Central building and grounds director Keith Walker told the Central Board last week that the entire project cost, which included renovations and additions at the high school, additions to the athletic fields complex, a new gym/auditorium and new middle school, came in at $21,358,619 or $400,218 over the anticipated budget. This also included a $400,000 contingency fund, five completed change orders and a sixth change order in the amount of $155,707.

Walker said students would move into the renovated intermediate school (fourth, fifth and sixth grades) within the next two weeks. Some punch list items remain and some work on the athletic fields needs correction. A portion of the shot and discus area for field events was lost to road construction, Walker said, and this means some changes.  

The total project consists of dirt work and resurfacing, installation of boards, etc., with an estimated cost from $175,000 to $265,000.  

Board president Christy Kunz noted some concerns with using the parking lot as a crossover area, but the board approved March 2 at 10 a.m. for bids to be in and a special meeting and public hearing at 10:15 a.m. The work will be paid for out of construction funds.

Walker also presented maintenance projects which need to be done this spring and summer. Most of the work is at Ekstrand Elementary and includes removal and replacement of EIFS (stucco work) for $28,227; replacement of lights in both gyms at $11,000; replacement of skylights at $14,000; and replacement of restroom sinks at $25,000.  

Only the stucco work will be hired out with the maintenance staff completing the remainder. Replacement of toilet partitions in restrooms at the intermediate school (formerly the middle school) and middle school locker rooms will also be done in house at a cost of $22,000. Total cost is $100,277, which will be paid from Physical Plant and Equipment Levy funds already allotted.

The board approved a regular payment of $72,214 and a retainage payment of $365,100 to Kraemer Brothers, LLC of Plain, Wis., the construction contractors.

Business Director Cindy McAleer reported health insurance costs will go up 3.31 percent next school year and are part of the negotiation process and final salary packages for faculty and staff. She noted the district had received a $16,484 dividend return for property liability/ auto insurance from the Iowa Association of School Boards Safety Group Insurance Programs. A budget workshop is set for 5:15 p.m. March 14 with March 31 the day to publish the 2012-2013 budget. The budget is due to state officials on April 6.

In personnel matters, the board approved employing Dawn Wright as a teacher's associate at Ekstrand at $10.52 per hour and Liz Dague as high school cheerleading coach at .08 per the master contract and accepted the resignation of Leigh McEwen as sixth-grade teacher effective at the end of the year.

Certified staff positions open in the district were listed for a high school assistant principal and middle school/high school activities director, three first-grade teachers, an early childhood special education and preschool teacher, elementary and middle school guidance counselors, a high school business teacher and a middle school science teacher.

In coaching/sponsor positions the district is seeking a middle school cheerleading coach, a one-half junior class sponsor, a head varsity softball coach, an assistant varsity softball coach, an assistant varsity boys soccer coach, and a head varsity girls soccer coach.

A public hearing was held regarding the early start date for the 2012-2013 school calendar with no public response.

High school band director Josh Greibel informed the board of a community drum circle he is organizing.

He said it would be an “hour  jam session” for community members. Greibel expects to fund the project with grant money.

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