Budget for two school roof repairs bumped to other projects
Two elementary schools will have to wait for roof repairs after the Stevens Point Area Public School District Board approved a budget adjustment to address other issues.
School Board members Monday, March 14 unanimously approved rescheduling and modifying the previously planned roof repairs at those two schools and instead use the total $218,090 associated with those projects to four other projects in the district.
The new projects are:
– Replacement of Jefferson School Library stained glass window for $40,000. The Jefferson School evaluation indicated the window would have to be replaced prior to the roof repair so the budget adjustment addresses the window as first priority, board member Trish Baker said.
– Provide funds for the city mandated wall/fence at the Life Skills Center to mask the kitchen exhaust equipment for $40,000.
– Replace the old, inefficient boiler at the Charles Fernandez Center at a cost of $36,090.
– Resurface and repair the Ben Franklin Junior High tennis courts, which were scheduled for replacement in the next budget year, at a cost of $102,000.
“There’s a part of me that says we have other things that are of higher priority,” Baker said. “I personally struggled with that, but people use those and students use those and it’s dangerous.”
Board member Judy Rannow agreed. “We either need to resurface them now or they’re going to have to be replaced completely at a much greater cost, and the public uses them.”
The adjustments result in a neutral financial situation, in that the total cost of the adjustments matches the total cost of the two roofing projects that will be rescheduled.
Tom Owens, district director of business services, said there will be modifications to the initial roofing schedule the board received and another plan to address all of the roofing issues across the district will be presented to the board at a later date.
Board member Kim Shirek voiced concerns about hearing about some of these projects for the first time. Superintendent Lee Bush said he would make efforts to have regular reports available to the School Board addressing projects that are happening through Buildings and Grounds.
School boundary change means more money to Boys and Girls Club
Stevens Point Area Public School District Board Monday, March 14 approved a school boundary change that would allow the Boys and Girls Club of Portage County to provide more lunches to its members.
The new Berard Center, 941 Michigan Ave., was located in the Washington School attendance boundary. The request from Executive Director Kevin Quevillon to be relocated into the Jefferson School service area would change the type of funding the club would receive through Wisconsin Department of Education.
Jefferson School service area is considered “at-risk” due to more than 50 percent of the student population qualifying for free and reduced lunches. By being brought into that service area, the Boys and Girls Club would be considered by the state as an “at-risk” after school care center.
The unanimous approval to relocate the Berard Center into the Jefferson School service area allows the center to receive about $40,000 more in annual funding for meals, which would translate into meals for youth ages 12 to 18 years old. There would be no reimbursement for those youth under the Washington School boundaries.
The boundary change does not affect any families, Superintendent Lee Bush said.
School Board agrees to human resources consultant
After some deliberation, the School Board unanimously approved hiring a Human Resources consultant at an $8,000 cost to review all of the district’s procedures and processes that the Human Resources Department is expected to accomplish efficiently, which would include a staffing volume assessment.
The board agreed with administration recommendation to hire Hank Harris from Human Capital Enterprises, Washington D.C. to conduct the review, which will take place the week of April 11 through April 15.
Board member Lisa Shirek voiced concern about hiring a firm without knowing what type of familiarity the firm has with the type of software (Skyward) that the district uses.
Superintendent Lee Bush said he has worked with the consultant in previous positions in similar capacities and has found the company reputable and responsible and highly qualified to conduct the tasks identified. The consultant also will provide advisement to the district on how the department might improve, and also review the compensation plan that is being created to address inequities across the district with non-represented staff.
“The atmosphere after Act 10 has changed so dramatically, I think sometimes an outside view is good and I certainly trust (Dr. Bush’s) judgement,” board member Angel Faxon said.
“I think taking a broad look at the district is a good idea and starting with HR would be ok with me,” board member Judy Rannow said.
Vending machine contract approved
The School Board unanimously approved entering into a five-year contract with Pepsi Cola for vending machines across the district. Much of the choice over Coca Cola was due to money.
Pepsi proposed a one-time signing bonus of $5,000 with an annual sponsorship of $5,000 over five years, totally $30,000 for the district. In addition, product commissions to the district will be between 20 percent and 35 percent.
Coca Cola offered an annual sponsorship of $2,500 over the five years totally $12,500 with a commission between 10 and 25 percent.
Concern was raised among board members regarding the types of items selected for the vending machines. Pepsi will work with each building principal to determine an appropriate mix for each vending machine. All products will be USDA Smart Snack approved.
Currently there are five vending machines at Stevens Point Area Senior High School, board members said, and the only vending machine located at elementary schools are in staff areas.
The district has been paying less in items purchased for the vending machines over the years, board members said. In 2011, over $10,000 in items were purchased compared to about $7,000 in 2015. In addition, vending machine at the high school are only operable during certain times of the day.