Search begins for new superintendent

The Broken Bow School Board currently has two major issues before them - selecting a new superintendent for the district, and finalizing design plans for the new elementary school project. Both were topics of a special meeting of the board Monday evening. The board is seeking community and staff input as it continues its search for a new superintendent, and a survey for collecting that input is available online. The board has contracted with the superintendent search service of the Nebraska Association of School Boards to fill the position, which will begin July 1, 2012, and the survey can be found on their website at The questions on the survey are: • What are the strengths and achievements of the school district and community? • What critical issues will the school face in the next three years? • What background/training should the new superintendent possess? • What leadership style /personal attributes must the new superintendent possess? Alternately, people may drop a note directly at the school with their responses, attention Alberta Crawley, Broken Bow Schools, 323 North 7th Ave., Broken Bow, NE 68822. Interim superintendent Dr. Virginia Moon has filled the position since July 2010, and at Monday’s meeting Marcia Herring with NASB told the board she has heard nothing but positive comments from both the staff and community. “They would really like you to hire another Dr. Moon,” Herring told the board. “A local school superintendent plays a critical role in shaping and leading a school district, and also fills an important leadership role in the community,” said School Board President Michelle Zlomke. “This is a great opportunity for the staff and community to help determine what we should be looking for as we conduct our superintendent search. It’s so important to have a broad, accurate perspective from everyone as we select the candidate who will provide long-term educational leadership for Broken Bow and its children.” A leadership profile was developed by the board two years ago to help determine just what is expected of the superintendent. Herring met with groups of staff members, community members and the board to review that profile and all groups felt comfortable with it the way it is. The online surveys will be taken up until applicants are presented to the board. The district, through the services of NASB, will accept applications until Jan. 3. Interviews are currently scheduled for the week of Jan. 16. Another discussion item on Monday’s agenda involves roof options for the North Park School project. The board met last Wednesday for a three-hour work session with community input on the roof options, and architect Grant Craeger made another presentation Monday evening. "The engineers have discovered significant problems with replacing the roof on the existing building with a standing seam pitched roof," said Superintendent Virginia Moon. "The standing seam pitched roof will be difficult and expensive because of the design and material used on the original roof. The engineer, architect and construction management company are recommending an EPDM roofing system which is used in many new and existing structures." The EPDM roofing system, which is a sloped rubber membrane roof that is 18 inches high at its peak, would look different from the conceptual drawings the community may have seen in recent months. “We are aware the community is expecting - based on conceptual drawings and board member statements - a roof with a high pitch,” says Zlomke. “We have learned that it will cost us at least $675,000 to accomplish a pitched steel roof on the existing North Park building. We can install a sloped membrane roof on the existing building for a third of that cost. So we have a tough decision ahead of us and we need the community to be confident in that decision when the time comes.” The cost estimates presented to the board this week are for only the roof system that will be used on the existing, renovated North Park building. The board has not yet addressed roof options for the new construction at North Park. Craeger explained that weight and attaching to the existing facility are two issues affecting the options of selecting roof material and design. The two options being compared and considered are the standing seam roof (steel) and a rubber membrane surface manufactured by Firestone known as EPDM. A summary of the cost estimates between the two options was presented by Craeger to the board. The standing seam roof would come in at a cost of $17 per square foot, plus $10 per square foot for structural enhancements and interior finishes, for a total on just the existing 25,000-square-foot building of $675,000. Meanwhile, the EPDM roof was quoted at $8 per square foot for a total of $200,000 for the existing building. EPDM roofing is being widely used on office buildings, hospitals and schools across the country, both for its affordability and its durability, according to Craeger. He says the EPDM roof is also very repairable and can be easily maintained locally. The EPDM will NOT be a flat roof; it will have a height of 18 inches at the center. A gutter system would also be installed. “We just want people to be aware, should we go with this option, that when they drive by they will not see a steep pitched roof from the street like many were expecting,” Zlomke explains. Craeger says the EPDM roof would also be easier to use when connecting the roof lines between the existing building and the new building. Zlomke says the board will likely make a decision on which roof option to pursue at the Dec. 19 meeting. The final item on Monday’s agenda involved the method of securing the $5.8 million bond money approved for the North Park project. Dr. Moon and Tracy Popp, chair of the board’s finance committee, suggested the board accept a variety of securities for the bonds from local financial institutions. The majority of the funds will be deposited in Nebraska State Bank and Custer Federal Savings & Loan in the form of municipal bonds. The remaining funds will be secured through a letter of credit. Popp also noted that all local instituitions were given the opportunity to secure some of the funds, but due to the short time frame involved many of those declined. The board unanimously approved this method of securing the bonds in the meeting’s only action item on the agenda. The next meeting of the Broken Bow Board of Education will be Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.