School board selects project details

Construction on the North Park school building project is progressing ahead of schedule, and while that is a good thing for the project it also means the school board has to make some decisions a little earlier than anticipated. At the Monday meeting of the Broken Bow Board of Education, three motions for construction options were slated for discussion and action. The first of those involves the type of siding to be used on the exterior of the building. The board discussed two options for siding; vinyl, and “Hardi Plank.” Hardi Plank siding, explained board member Ken Meyers, is a concrete siding that is better quality than regular vinyl siding. That means it is also more expensive. While the cost of the Hardi Plank siding will be approximately $16,500 more than the vinyl, the majority of the board members felt it was the better of the two options. This new siding will be installed along the entire front (south side) of the building, and on all of the new building. The board unanimously approved the installation of Hardi Plank siding for the North Park project. The next construction item to be discussed was the flooring for the new multi-purpose room at North Park. Superintendent Mark Sievering told the board that he, Activities Director Ryan Hogue, Director of Operations Joe Shea, and a couple of community members visited a school to evaluate a type of synthetic flooring that had been suggested for use on the project. “We were very skeptical going in, at least Mr. Hogue and I were,” said Sievering. He said he and Hogue had basically already decided they thought a wood floor would be the best option for the project. “But after seeing it ourselves,we were sold on the synthetic floor.” Hogue agreed. “Like Mr. Sievering says, I was very skeptical about this floor. But now I am 100 percent sold that this is the best way to go,” he said. Though the new multi-purpose room is not yet ready for the floor to be installed, Meyers explained that they are at a point in construction where a decision on the type of flooring must be made. The necessity for the decision is created due to the difference in the thickness of cement that needs to be poured, dependent upon the type of floor that is selected. While this flooring will be paid by fundraising, BD Construction needs a decision regarding the type of floor to be installed, Meyers explained. Sievering says based on his research, he would recommend the synthetic floor at this point. This type of flooring is more durable and resilient to high traffic, and Hogue added the surface is perfectly suitable for athletic events at any level. The cost estimates for the synthetic flooring versus wood floor are approximately $45,000 for the synthetic, and approximately $57,000 for the wood. Joe Shea also commented that the synthetic floor is easy to clean and easier to maintain than the wood floor. “This sounds like just what we need for less money,” said Meyers. Board President Michelle Zlomke praised the community, administration and school board for being able to work together to come up with what they believe to be the best option for this project. She says the plans were to install a wood floor in the multi-purpose room, but when community members brought the idea of the synthetic floor to the attention of the board, they decided to investigate. “I just really commend the school and community for working together to come up with the best plan for sending the taxpayer’s money, and for meeting the needs of the kids,” Zlomke said. The board voted to go with the suggestion of Mr. Sievering and the operations committee, unanimously approving the installation of the concrete for the synthetic floor sport court at North Park. Also up for discussion as part of the construction at North Park was a request by the local Masonic Lodge to provide a cornerstone ceremony for the addition. Upon completion, or near completion of the facility, the Masonic Lodge would hold a ceremony to celebrate the project. Other organizations would also be invited to participate. There is no cost to the district associated with the ceremony or the cornerstone. The only costs would be if the school decided to host a reception following the ceremony. The board members all felt like they needed more information about the ceremony and what it entails. It was decided to table that discussion to the December meeting. Lengthy discussion was also on the issue of gym athletic equipment for the new North Park gym. Athletic equipment is not in the project budget. However, basketball and volleyball are currently units in elementary physical education, and this equipment is necessary to continue next year with with programs currently being offered. While the Little Feet, Big Dreams committee is willing to raise funds for some of the equipment, it is the position of the school administration that they should not be strapped for all costs. Sievering says in discussing the athletic equipment with BD Construction, it is highly recommended all equipment be purchased and installed before the floor is complete - thus prompting the board to have to make a decision now. Shea explained that access to the rafter is much easier at this point in the project, and it makes sense to install the necessary components during construction rather than partially deconstruction a brand new building to add them later. In addition, steps would have to be taken to protect the floor if installation is done at a later date. All of these additional steps would also create unnecessary expense. The cost for the installation of the basic athletic equipment - which consists of two basketball goals, two sets of wall padding volleyball standards and control box - is $20,945. That amount would be paid for out of the school’s building fund. The board voted to approve the installation of that equipment at that cost, with Matthew Haumont voting no. David Glendy was not present at the meeting. The board unanimously approved a motion to approve the fundraising efforts for athletic equipment - consisting of four side goals, divider curtain and scoreboards - in the multi-purpose room at North Park, at a total cost of $71,350. Other action items to come before the board at the Nov. 19 meeting included: • Review and approval of the annual audit, conducted by Dan Zach of Dana F. Cole. • Approval of the first reading of a revised policy regarding the release of employee information, prompted by the passage of LB959. • Approval of the first reading of a revised policy concerning school ceremonies and observances, prompted by the addition of Rule 10 recently approved by NDE. • Approval of the first reading of a revised policy regarding compulsory attendance. These changes are the result of LB996, which prescribes that students between the age of 16-18 who wish to discontinue enrollment must either meet the criteria of financial hardship for the family, or health issues of the student. • Approval of the first reading of a revised policy regarding excessive absenteeism, prompted by slight changes of LB933. • Approval of the first reading of a new policy on negotiations. • Approval of the first reading of a new policy regarding e-mail retention. This new policy is based on guidelines created by the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office. • Annual approval of the contract for special education services for Broken Bow Schools with the Sandhills Educational Services Cooperative. The next regular meeting of the Broken Bow School Board will be Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.