GCHS ‘practice’ gym gets facelift, board sets hearing on 2018-19 calendar

Greene County High School phys ed students will return to school after the holiday break to a freshly painted gymnasium and a couple of new rules for its use. Discus throwers will no longer be able to throw in the gym. Baseball and softball players will no longer be able to hit balls there, either.

School superintendent Tim Christensen told the board of the “vacation” project at the board’s regular meeting Dec. 20.

He said the project was prompted by the discussion at the school board candidate forum hosted by the Jefferson Rotary Club in September. At the forum, Jefferson resident Sean Sebourn said he thought the high school gym looked terrible and asked the candidates who is accountable for poor looking facilities.

The board set the Jan. 17 regular meeting as the time for a public hearing on the 2018-19 school calendar. The draft calendar sets Thursday, Aug. 23, as the first day of school and Friday, May 31, 2019, as the last day of school. Commencement would be Sunday, May 26.

Christmas break would be two full weeks, from the end of the school day Friday, Dec. 21, to the start of the day Monday, Jan. 7. The calendar also includes a full week of spring break, March 11-15.

In other business, Christensen reported to the board that the final cost of the new construction at the elementary school, including change orders, was $15,302 above the bid cost. Final cost was $1,697,702. The overrun was about 1 percent of total project cost.

The board also approved $670,050 for a new roof on the original (1992) portion of the building. Construction manager Greg Brown of Garland Company attended the meeting to provide detailed information on the roof. The insulation is still in good condition, he said, and will not be replaced. Garland will oversee the work done by Brockway Mechanical and Roofing Company Inc of Des Moines. Brockway submitted the low bid of $670,050, with bids ranging as high as $975,000.

Board member Sam Harding said the rubber roof put on in 1992 had a 15 to 20-year life expectancy. “We had real good success on the whole thing,” Harding said.

Brown said the membrane that will be put on this summer is a “stronger, beefier roof” than the existing roof.

The cost will come from the physical plant and equipment levy (PPEL) and funds from the state one-cent sales tax for education (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education – SAVE, formerly the Local Option Sales and Services Tax – LOSST)

The board approved the low bid of $79,987 from AAA Budget Environmental Inc of Ames for removing asbestos from the Grand Junction school building. Three bids were received for the project. The work should be finished by the end of May, at which time the board will determine a timeline for demolition of the building.

There was a short discussion of the summer lunch program in Grand Junction. Christensen reported the city of Grand Junction is agreeable to the meals being served at the community center.

The board approved joining the Rural School Advocates of Iowa at a cost of $750 per year. The RSAI lobbyists hope to balance the influence of the Urban Network, which has lobbied successfully for the state’s city schools, Christensen said.

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