King Opera House Board President Dave Paxton presented a report to the Albia Community School Board on Monday to talk about the restoration project and its implications for the school district.
Paxton said that the building had been inspected by a structural engineer who gave the building a passing grade with a few things that needed fixed, including repairing some cracked rafters in the south and west side of the building, new emergency stairways on the east and west exterior of the building and addressing the height of the balcony railing and establishing a number for seating in the balcony.
The structural engineer, said Paxton, approved the building for the coming restoration of the front and interior restroom work. He also said the building needed some minor tuck-pointing in places.
An architectural firm has been hired, said Paxton, and they have made several visits doing exterior and interior measurements preparing for the three-phase restoration of the building.
“At this point we are going to restore the front of the building and work on new restrooms and completing the concession area work we’ve already started,” Paxton said. “We’ll also be doing the repairs to the rafters in Phase I and add new heating and air conditioning to the front of the building.”
Phase II, he said, was to insulate the auditorium and put up new wall covering. Phase III will be replacing the seating upstairs and down and tackling any HVAC needs.
Linda Hoskins sits on both the school board and King Opera House Board and said the plan is to leave the stage area and orchestra pit area in its original state. “We want to retain as much of the historic nature of the building as possible,” she said.
Paxton said the school district has helped the theater board this summer by allowing the summer drama camp to use the high school in June. “We’re thinking we can continue to show movies throughout most of the work,” he said. “We’re also planning to have the fall musical in the building.”
He did not have dates for various aspects of the project to begin. “Soon,” he said.
The school board worked through a lengthy agenda, at the very top of agenda items the approval of contracts for the Albia Education Association (teachers’ union) and Albia Education Employees Association (non-certified union).
The pact approved for teachers includes increases of $156,808 when including insurance and $101,998 without insurance costs included. Albia’s generator base for new teachers is $28,080 and with teacher salary supplements from the state will rise to $38,061. The state’s minimum salary is $35,000.
The agreement also adds a strength and conditioning coaching position and a high school speech sponsor (if shared). There were also several lane changes. Temporary leaves of absence in the last 20 student contact days were also addressed and there will now be restrictions to four employees district wide and two per building.
“It was a very challenging year to negotiate,” said union chief negotiator Joe Judge. “As a collaborative group we started with values and found we have a lot more in common than not. The new contract reflects that.”
Superintendent Crall added that the contract continues to value years of experience and lifelong educator learning.
For non-certified staff, a 25-cent per hour raise was approved to bring the total cost to the district up to $42,118 (with insurance) and $23,216 without. Contract language was also changed to describe how employees can leave work on inclement weather days.
The board spent considerable time discussing a proposal by the district current engineering firm, RDG. RDG is offering to provide research and a report for specifics regarding the air conditioning of the remaining portions of the high school and junior high at a cost of $14,000. Several board members thought the cost was too high considering RDG has already done work and submitted reports on the issue.
Superintendent Crall said the work proposed would provide a specific game plan, a specific budget and specific products. “It would help us define our financing needs,” said Crall. “Right now we don’t have the information we need to go to district stakeholders in the event we need to pass a PPEL levy.”
In the end the board approved $10,000 toward research and a report from RDG.
Also approved was an agreement with Indian Hills Community College to provide instruction services to students in the area of computer science and STEM related fields. Taaf Vermeulen is leaving the district and efforts to replace him have failed at this point.
The agreement is a one-year deal with IHCC faculty member Andrew Wilson.
The board approved the long-awaited agreement to manage the Monroe County Sports Complex from May 1-Aug. 1.
A vote to purchase the Dick Jurgenson property, located directly south of the A Gym was unanimously approved. The cost of the purchase is $70,000. Use of the property at this time has not been determined. The property includes a ranch house with an attached garage.
The agreement with Moravia and Centerville to share librarian Leann Seddon was approved for another year. The board also approved sharing a social worker with Centerville for the 2019-2020 school year if a qualified person can be found.