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Demoney nearly ready for students

By Staff | Aug 12, 2008

With the brighter light at the end of the tunnel are new school additions and remodeled areas to start the new school year in the Estherville Lincoln Central School District.

Project manager Roger Gilbert reported to the directors of the school board that the Demoney addition and remodeling areas are substantially complete as are the remodeled areas at the high school.

He noted the gym roof on the ongoing middle school construction project was installed and a load of cabinetry was delivered and stored in the gym. The roof over the west wing was also installed.

The middle school facility will be ready for classes in the 2009-10 school year.

Other areas included in the middle school update were:

n The standard concrete floor slab on the main floor west of the restrooms was poured.

n The north half of the lower floor area below and west of the restrooms has been fine graded and ready to pour.

n Masons are continuing to complete the interior structural walls.

n The installation of structural steel and steel joists are to follow.

n The geogrid system was installed in the drive and parking area southeast of the building. The area was stabilized with only 8 inches of rock instead of 12. The clay cap is now being placed.

n The total demolition of Maniece is nearing completion.

Director Don Schiltz asked if the sinks had been lowered at Demoney.

Gilbert said the countertops had been removed and the new countertops were positioned lower. The new sinks are on site and will be positioned before the start of school.

Schiltz was told, “That’s the plan.”

Following the advisement of school Superintendent Dick Magnuson, the board, by unanimous vote, approved the development agreement with the City of Estherville for the extension of water and sewer lines for the ELC practice fields.

Magnuson said future plans for the school district could include a bus barn, restrooms and storage areas.

“The city did the work and the bids were lower than the estimate which is a positive. It is a good project and I recommend you approve this project.”

By unanimous vote, the board approved the development agreement.

In other business, the board reviewed budgetary items ending as of July 31, 2007, for the general operating fund, Physical Plant and Equipment Levy Fund, child care, one cent local option sales tax/capital projects, 2007 phase I capital projects, nutrition fund, Inman funds, internal service, RWC membership assistance/endowment fund, Sanborn fine arts endowment and debt service fund.

Business manager Kate Woods said when expenditures go up and revenues go down, the snowball effect has to be monitored closely.

“This compounds everything. We have to watch expenditures and will look at this closely this year,” she said.

The school board was reminded the general fund is the heart of the operations. Woods added projections for any fiscal year are hard to adhere to because of the degree of unseen fluctuation.

“We will have work to do.”

Because the schedule for the school’s registration required the presence of school principals, they were absent from the meeting. Frank Christenson, high school principal, did submit his report in writing and included:

n Successful baseball season.

n Teachers were assuming additional class work.

n Football/volleyball camps are going strong.

n All high school staff has been hired.

n Construction and remodeling work continues.

Christenson said high school summer school attracted 37 students for a period from July 7-Aug. 8.

His report noted, “We have numerous students who decided to pursue credits through ILCC’s (Iowa Lakes Community College) Success Center. They have one calendar year to complete work there.”

Regional Wellness Center Director Bob Grems shared his report noting a lull is typically experienced in August. It was announced the swimming pool is closed for maintenance and that 25 senior citizens took part in a fitness class last week.

Grems said activities go into full swing after Labor Day.

Magnuson’s report was also shared. The maintenance staff has had to relocate the teacher’s lounge at the high school, move unused shop equipment, dismantle football visitor bleachers, work on preschool playground and do normal maintenance.

He said the transportation department conducted normal vehicle repair/maintenance and transported students for summer activities. The custodians have had to do regular school building cleaning around the construction schedule.

Magnuson was pleased to report 11,397 meals were served during the summer lunch program at the high school cafeteria. Calling it a good program, he said the kids perhaps would not have had a noon meal without this lunch program.

The technology program continues to update systems for the start of the school year.

In addition to ongoing facility construction, routine maintenance continues on the grounds and boiler operations.

Under the school improvement heading, he noted the district will embrace the mentor/mentee programs for teachers and administrators and design a new Individual Professional Development Plan format.

As always, the focus rests with curriculum goals for the new year.

School will start on Sept. 2, the superintendent said, noting preschool’s first day is Sept. 10.

For additional coverage of the Aug. 11 ELC school board meeting, see Wednesday’s edition of the Estherville Daily News.