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Terril School Board tours facilities

By Staff | Jul 9, 2009

TERRIL – The Terril School Board meeting Tuesday afternoon included a tour of the first floor facilities to determine repair and construction needs. The main reason to hold the special meeting was to discuss summer projects, so it was pertinent that the board members see what needed to be done.

A facilities report that principal Jesse Ulrich presented said the two most important jobs include first floor improvements and the sidewalks/front steps. First floor improvements include a drop ceiling and new lighting.

In the sidewalk project, the cement would extend farther north of the building and both sidewalks that lead to the road would be redone. The cement on the east side of the school currently slopes so that water runs toward the school. Handicap access would also be greatly improved.

After the tour, board member Eugene Buhr agreed that new lights were needed, but didn’t think new ceilings were a necessity. The board agreed to have Ulrich look into new bids for painting the ceiling and appropriate lighting without a drop ceiling.

The board discussed replacement of five exterior doors. Board president Larry Flaharty received two bids. The board approved the bid of $11,300 from Northwest Glass if they can get them done before school starts; otherwise the board will go with Shaw Paint and Glass.

A middle school program that would allow each student to have an Apple laptop was discussed. Ulrich said that there are currently 24 computers for 135 students. The computer lab is used most of the day by computer classes. The program would cost approximately $50,000 per year for four years.

Superintendent Randy Collins said he thought the program would make a difference every day for the students.

Buhr noted that it is good to plan ahead, but the program deserves a structured step into it because of the cost. Board members agreed that they wanted more research done on the program. Ulrich also commented that Apple isn’t the only option, and that he can look into other programs. Ulrich agreed to do more research and bring up the issue at the next meeting.

Board member Galen Chicoine said he wanted to make sure the program generated educational improvements.

Collins talked to the board about a possible director of maintenance position. Currently, the Armstrong-Ringsted School District, of which Collins is also superintendent, shares the position with the city of Armstrong.

Flaharty said he saw the advantages of the position because the Tuesday meeting was spent talking about maintenance issues.

Collins said they would need a 28E sharing agreement in order to have the position. He said the school has immediate needs, and they should aggressively pursue an agreement with the Graettinger school.

The meeting was a first for both Ulrich and Collins. “You’ve got a diamond here,” said Collins of Ulrich. “I feel good about this.”

Ulrich expressed his appreciation for the position and said he looks forward to leading the school. He also said he wants to make sure the projects they pursue have an impact on educational achievement.