What looked like a relatively short school board agenda, turned into a nearly two-hour discussion on the first report topic presented by RAD engineers Phil Hodgin and Mike Chambers.
The two men brought three plans for the board to look at that would improve the teaching facilities for fine arts.
Plan A would remodel the art and band rooms and make improvements to the existing multi-purpose room at a cost of just over $1 million.
The second plan would move the vocal music room from its present location to where the band and art rooms are, add a new band addition and remodel space for vocal music and art at a cost of $2.6 million.
The third plan would cost almost $8 million and would create a new auditorium/activity center (gymatorium) in the current north parking lot and would create new instructional areas for vocal music, band and art.
According to Superintendent, the board was cool to the idea of spending $8 million on an auditorium when the top priority in the district was to finish air conditioning the Junior High, remaining areas of the high school and the A Gym. The cost of finishing the AC would be between $1.7 and $2 million. The higher cost would include everything except the B Gym and shop areas.
The school board talked about the need to do improvements to the air conditioning system and the instruction areas for fine arts without raising property taxes.
Blue Pride Way
Board members discussed briefly the school’s “Blue Pride Way” and how that can be defined for both students and adult stakeholders in the community.
The discussion was prompted by a very negative posting on the Albia Facebook page, criticizing coaches and a letter written to School Board President Craig Ambrose from a former volunteer coach.
Superintendent Crall said the school has had success communicating the meaning of The Blue Pride Way to students but has little control over what some adults will say and do, particularly in regard to social media.
The board agreed to spend more time on the issue at a later board meeting, when all administrators and teacher leaders can be involved.
The board accepted the resignations of Jolene Townsend, kitchen assistant and Christine Ebelsheiser, also a kitchen assistant. They approved employment for Cheyenne Shaffer, Kacie Schachtner and Danille Della Vedova and Deven DeTar, all classroom associates.
The Indian Hills Community College contract for educational services was approved. IHCC may offer classes from a list of 93 courses agreed upon by the school that includes credits for an Associate of Arts degree (composition, western civilization, communication courses, etc.), nursing courses, horticulture, landscaping and horticulture, construction, automotives, computers and business.
The board also approved its school attorney, Brian Gruhn and Joe Starcevic; depositories, First Iowa State Bank, $3 million, Peoples State Bank $3 million, ISJIT Trust, $1.5 million, Edward D. Jones, $1.5 million; Level I Child Abuse Investigators, Kevin Crall, Billy Strickler, Joellen Breon; Level II, local or county law enforcement; Anti-Bullying/Harrassment Investigators, Crall, Lori Eads, Breon; Teache Quality Committee, Crall, Breon, Strickler, Richard Montgomery.