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Board approves Leo A Daly contract, FirstRobotics team

During its regular board meeting on Monday, Sept. 15, which followed the district’s annual meeting, the New Richmond School District Board of Education approved several items, including a contract with Leo A Daly and the addition of a FirstRobotics team.

The board approved the contract with Leo A Daly as facilitators for the upcoming pre-project site development charrette for the potential Community Commons project. Leo A Daly, an international architecture, planning, engineering, interior design and program management firm based in Minneapolis, was chosen by the charrette group last month to facilitate the 60-90 day Community Commons project and contract period in which the city and school district will have to collectively outline the scope of work. The group, now called the Commons Coalition, will meet for the first time with Leo A Daly on Thursday, Sept. 18, from 5-7 p.m. in the Community Commons Media Center.


The school board approved the addition of a FirstRobotics program and an advisor for the group at the high school. FirstRobitcs promotes higher order thinking and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education while also enhancing current classes offered at the high school such as AP Calculus, Intro to Engineering, Digital Electronics, Auto Mechanics, Physics and others.

FirstRobotics teams are made up of 10 or more students who will build, test and compete against other teams with a robot designed and operated by students. The robot must complete specific tasks, such as throwing a ball through a hoop. The Bosch Community Fund is on board to be a sponsor for the group.

Other business:

During the consent agenda portion of the meeting, the school board approved the resignations of seven staff members, while also hiring 13 new staff as well as 13 people to extra-curricular positions.

-- The board approved a $1,000 donation to Hillside Elementary from Health Partners for the PowerUp Challenge.

-- The board approved a $763.50 donation from the Knights of Columbus to the Special Services Department.

-- The board approved the creation of a FFA Fish Farm account at the high school.

-- The board approved the substitute pay rate recommendation from Brian Johnston, which needed updating in order to keep up with competitive rates.

-- The board approved funding for up to four paid lunch supervision positions per semester at the high school. Each position would pay $500 per semester. The positions would be filled by teachers or staff that volunteer during their lunch break.

-- The board approved the powerlifting coaching pay proposal (for a head and assistant coach) due to the increasing number of students taking part in the activity and in order to bring the weightlifting coaching pay in line with other winter sports. The program includes both the high school and middle school. The group is projected to have 65 members this year.

-- The board approved the second reading of a set of revised and new school district policies.

-- The board approved the acceptance of a bid by Haffner Construction/Robin Haffner in the amount of $30,000 for the student built house.

-- The board accepted a bid from Audio Architects not to exceed $27,553.12 for the group to add a new sound system to the football field/track. The Audio Architects bid is for a pole mounted system with two speakers for the home side and two speakers for the visitors side.

The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 20, at 7 p.m.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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