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Board approves budget to build new school

The New Richmond School Board approved the new high school construction budget at a work session Wednesday, Feb. 6, and approved it to go out on bid Feb. 18.

Originally the estimate for building the high school was between $65-66 million. After reviewing the itemized estimates line-by-line, High School Principal Jeff Moberg and construction managers from Bosshardt Corporation were able to bring the figure down to $59,045,087.

Moberg said the changes made would not compromise the educational value of the facility.

An example of trimming the budget includes bidding the varsity and practice baseball fields as alternates, rather than including them as part of the basic bid package. That one change could save the School District $220,000.

Other money-saving moves included cutting some detail from the outside of the building to save $29,000 and eliminating some catwalks in the auditorium for a savings of $43,000.

Rick Hinz, Board president, expressed the Board's gratitude to Moberg for the "many hours of extra time" he spent on refining the budget.

Final approval on the design and construction budget for West Elementary was tabled as Principal Frank Norton was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.

In other business:

The Board heard second readings and approved several policies as follows:

• The Elementary School Boundary Lines policy.

• The School District of New Richmond Public School Open Enrollment policy.

• English Language Proficiency Student Selection policy.

• English Language Proficiency Program Exit and Reclassification policy.

• District Administrator Evaluation policy.

Marilyn Duerst, Board member, Rick Hinz, president, Brian Johnston, director of building and fiscal operations and District Administrator Morrie Veilleux reported on their recent attendance at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) convention in Madison.

They were all impressed with the convention and said it was well worth their time. Duerst reported on several innovative teaching techniques she observed at the convention, such as teaching a second language to children as early as 4K and increasing efforts District-wide in the curriculum areas of science, technology, engineering and math.