School board approves upgrades
The New Richmond School District Board of Education discussed and approved three proposals for repairs, replacement and additions to various schools at its Jan. 20 School Board meeting.
Brian Johnston, director of Fiscal and Building Operations, brought the three proposals to the board, including one from Floyd Total Security for the addition of a Lock Down/Panic Alarm system to be put into each of the schools in the district.
“We have been looking at doing something like this for a while now and this proposal includes a couple of buttons in each location, which are designed to give people the option to push the button and call the police or release the fire doors in an effort to block off areas of the schools to slow an intruder down,” Johnston said. “The main thing it will do is get that quick call to the police so we can get a response sooner. The buttons would be placed in a couple places so that there were a couple of options of where they can be activated.”
The buttons would be placed in strategic places in the school where the security firm and the school administration felt comfortable having them for quick access.
“We worked with the principals on where they thought were areas the buttons would be needed, but they still have to be secure areas as well,” Superintendent Jeff Moberg said. “And we also talked about who would then be in the vicinity to access the buttons. There would be a main location for one, then an alternate location.”
The total cost of the project would be $5,605 for two buttons in each of the five schools. The system would tie into the existing security systems. After a short discussion, the board approved the proposal from Floyd Total Security, but said they would like the option of adding more buttons to be considered in the future.
On Dec. 12, Johnston and Brian Thompson, with the Garland Company, held a pre-bid meeting with seven contractors for the middle school roof project and received bids from all seven contractors, with the low bid going to Peterson Bros. Roofing and Construction. Peterson’s bid came in at $634,000 and includes a 30-year warranty. The board approved the bid from Peterson’s unanimously after a short discussion.
“The cost would cover replacing most of the roof, but not all of it since we did parts of it when we remodeled some of the middle school earlier,” Johnston said. “The cost comes out to right around $12 a square-foot.”
Peterson has done work on the middle school and Starr Elementary buildings in the past.
The board also discussed and approved a bid from Trane Building Services for up to $65,050 for the remodel of the middle school’s chiller unit.
“The middle school chiller was put in in 1994 and is in need of some work,” Johnston said. “We looked at going either new or just upgrading all the major components. The recommendation is that we go with the rebuild since we already replaced some of the unit a couple years ago because of heavy hail damage.”
Johnston went on to state that the $65,050 proposal included the cost of replacing the chiller’s refrigerant, which may or may not need replacing at this time. That amount would pay to replace the compressors, condenser fans and motors and repair all the leaks in the system. The cost to completely replace the unit would be $164,000, Johnston said, and the new unit would need to be brought in by helicopter in order to place it on the roof.
The board also approved the creation of two new culinary arts courses (Introduction to Culinary Arts and Advanced Culinary Arts), and the purchase of materials for them. The courses were presented by Family Consumer Education teacher Laura Feyma, who wanted to give students the opportunity to pursue the culinary arts.
“What I am proposing is the Prostart program, which is a twoyear curriculum for culinary arts and hospitality,” Feyma said. “The main focus would be on the foodservice industry. Prostart is a national organization and is run through the National Restaurant Association, so the textbooks come directly from them.”
According to Feyma, if the students take the two culinary arts courses, pass two exams and do 400 hours of work in a food-service industry, they will be able to get a National Certificate of Achievement. With that certificate,the students can then go on to certain culinary schools throughout the country and get credits toward their degree. For the UW-Stout program, a student would get up to 12 credits for their certificate, Feyma said.
“I would suggest we keep the current Foods I course, but drop Foods II since the material covered in that course would be used in both of the culinary arts classes,” Feyma said. “There is also a culinary competition where the students would get 60 minutes to complete a meal without electronic equipment. It is quite a challenge, but it teaches them a lot of good things.”
The board also heard multiple presentations from different high school organizations, including the Academic Decathlon, Freshman Edge, Tiger Reading Challenge, Student Leadership Team, FFA, APR and RTI: Intervention.
—The board approved the resignation of two teachers, the hire of three teachers and the transfer/reassignment of one teacher.
—The board approved grants and gifts from Bosch, DonorsChoose.com, Annmarie Foundation, St. Croix Valley Foundation, Western Wisconsin Volleyball Association, the New Richmond Elementary Parents Association and the New Richmond Area Community Foundation totaling nearly $28,000.
—The board approved a request for additional special education paraprofessional staff at Starr Elementary (one paraprofessional) and Hillside Elementary (1-4 hour per day paraprofessional).
—The board approved a onemonth extension of a lease agreement with Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College at the Community Commons through the end of July, to allow the college time to move out of the space and into its new location.
—The board approved make-up days for the staff to be scheduled for June 9 for the first missed day due to snow and Aug. 25 for the second day.
—The board approved the site applications for its NR4Kids sites throughout the city.