BRITT | The West Hancock School Board of Directors is nearing its decision on the cost and scope of the high school renovation project set to begin later this year.
On Monday, Jan. 21, Superintendent Wayne Kronemann and longtime school board member Jay Burgardt, who’s on the project committee, provided an update on the project during the monthly School Board meeting.
The project, including the construction of an outside main entrance canopy, general commons facelift and modernization of the front office and concession stand area restrooms, is estimated to cost $489,996 with contingencies, according to a document provided by ISG.
“These are estimates, not quotes,” Kronemann said.
Once the School Board finalizes its project, the project will go out for bids.
ISG, a multi-disciplinary firm offering architects, engineers, designers and managers, was hired for the three-phase building improvements project in October.
The firm is providing the district schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding and negotiating and construction administration and project closeout.
Kronemann said about five of the 15 project items — trophy case, removal of old lockers and installation of new ones, relocation of water fountain, modernization of restrooms and high-top tables and chairs — could be done for less than the engineer’s estimate based on conversations had with area contractors, which prompted a brief discussion about whether to pull items out of the project to be bid separately.
The School Board also discussed flooring, the outdoor canopy and LED lighting, but no decisions were made related to the discussion.
Kronemann also announced that the Kelly family recently donated $15,000 to the district in memory of Paul Kelly for the new high school trophy case, estimated to cost $31,250.
A large portion of the project the school board determines will be funded by the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, or PPEL, voters approved in September. The funds can be used for future projects, like LED lighting, technology, transportation, building maintenance and high school renovations.
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Come July 1, the PPEL fund will total nearly $1.2 million.
The fund will also be used to pay for another project the School Board discussed and voted on Monday.
In a 5-0 vote, with Todd Hammer and Ryan Hiscocks absent, the School Board unanimously approved a $209,600 quote from Linahon Electric and Musco for new LED lighting at the track and football field. The quote doesn’t include Alliant Energy’s work that could cost $1,900.
“It’s a lot of money,” said Angie Johnson, School Board member, who voiced additional concerns about what the public would think about the expenditure.
Stacey Goepel, West Hancock maintenance and transportation director, has been looking for a solution to the school’s track and football field lights that started acting up last fall, but he’s been unable to find someone to warranty new lights on the deteriorating wood poles. The field’s current lights are nearly 30 years old.
Jason Schillig with Musco spoke to the School Board members and staff about the lighting during the meeting. He said their LED lights, which would sit atop steel poles encasing the electric wires, are covered under warranty for 25 years, with the exception of vandalism and acts of God. The first visual inspection is at 40 years.
The School Board decided to send some of its members to the next Athletic Booster Club meeting in February to request help in funding the project before ultimately voting to move forward with it.
Also during the Jan. 21 meeting:
- Steve Lansing, West Hancock Alternative Education and activities director, spoke to the School Board about the alternative high school program. The program currently has 27 student in ninth through 12th grade.
- The School Board approved the resignation of Kassondra Robinson, who’s in her second year as the high school family consumer science and health teacher.
- The School Board approved the retirement of Deb Sykes, West Hancock Middle School at-risk coordinator.
- The School Board approved the hiring of Shamera Barber as a special education paraprofessional at the Elementary School.
- The School Board amended the 2019-2020 school calendar, so the last day of school is a half day and graduation could be held the weekend before Memorial Day weekend.