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School board hears preview of tonight’s public meeting

By James Grob, [email protected]

The Charles City School District Board of Directors received a brief preview Monday in regard to what will be discussed at a public meeting that will be held tonight (Tuesday).

Brad Leeper, a partner with Invision Architect, presented an update to the school board regarding current district facility needs and the next steps in the process. Over the last year, Leeper has been leading a community task force made up of school district staff, students and community members.

The district will host a community meeting today to review some potential solutions to facility needs. The meeting will be held at the high school cafeteria, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and public feedback is encouraged.

Leeper told the board members that the task force has narrowed the facilities improvements down to three options. The first is to fix and repair what’s already in place at the high school. This option would repair critical items only, at an estimated cost of about $13.5-17.5 million.

The second option would be to “reimagine” what’s in place at the high school, which would include an addition of 31,000 square feet and the renovation of about 120,000 square feet, at a cost of $28-33 million.

The third option would be to replace the high school area, and would include adding over 66,000 square feet of new construction and renovating over 35,000 square feet of existing facilities. This option would cost $34-38 million.

Leeper said that Invision has been working with Estes Construction on the cost estimates.

Leeper said that funding sources could include Physical Plant Equipment Levy (PPEL), general obligation bonds and sales tax revenue bonds.

PPEL funds, at a rate of $1.34 per $1000, could raise up to $4 million and would require 50% public approval through a vote, but those funds can only be used for maintenance, repairs, construction, technology, vehicles, furniture and other equipment.

A penny revenue sales bond to raise up to $13.1 million would not require a vote, but the funds could only be used for maintenance and construction projects.

There are two options for acquiring the funding through general obligation bonds. The first would be a levy of up to $2.70 per $1,000 of taxable valuation to raise up to $26.4. The second would be a levy of up to $4.05 per $1,000 to raise up to $39.7 million. Both of these options would require 60% approval by voters. The bond issue would be project specific.

The facilities issue will be discussed in more detail at the public meeting on Tuesday.

In other business at the meeting on Monday, school building principals and other district leadership provided the board with an update on the scope of participation the school district will have when RAGBRAI rolls through town in late July.

Among many other services, school district green space — other than the football field and the baseball and softball diamonds — will be available for camping. The district will also allow the RAGBRAI committee to use district radios and other communication equipment.

The athletics department will be allowing use of showers and parking lots will be available for RV parking. Commons spaces in school buildings will also will be used for sleeping and showers.

Many of these services will be provided for a fee, to be used to raise funds for the school district.

In other action on Monday, the board approved a bid from JED Construction for $62,785.35 to complete the cement work at the Charles City Operations Complex, around the bus barn area.

Director of Operations Jerry Mitchell had received two bids to finish the cement work at the complex, as previously approved in the five-year strategic plan. The other bid Mitchell received was from Nolts Construction, for $70,680. The project will be paid for out of annual budgeted PPEL funds.

In other business on Monday, the board:

— Heard from representatives from from Greener Shepherd, who presented a proposal for a holistic wellness opportunity for the Charles City Community School District staff for the 2022-23 school year. The board will consider the proposal at a future meeting.

— Approved the resignations of CCMS volleyball coaches Katelyn Shultz and Brittany Brewer, effective immediately.

— Approved the personnel transfer of Josh Dean, from CCHS At-Risk to Innovative Campus At-Risk.

— Approved the personnel appointments of summer workers Katlyn Holzer, Bobbi Shultz, Jane Offerman, Wendy LaBarge, Tim LaBarge, Sonja Cotton, Ty Hejna, Aaron Jensen, Rick Lynch and Jackson Carey at a wage of $12 per hour effective May 26.

— Approved the appointments of Rick Lynch, summer school admin assistant coordinator, and Shantell Rimmer, summer school para-educator, both at a wage of $16.66 per hour, effective May 31.

— Approved the appointments of summer school teachers Brandy Anderson (math) and Hayley Fransen (ELA) at a wage of $30 per hour, effective May 31.

— Approved the appointment of Josh Dean, assistant varsity wrestling, at a salary of $4,669 and 9th-grade football at a salary of $4,202 for the 2022-23 school year.

— Approved the appointment of Avery Allen, 1st-grade teacher at Washington, at a salary of $39,468 for the 2022-23 school year.

— Approved the appointment of Ingri Tutu, high school special education; at a salary of $62,955.

— Approved the appointment of Sarah Downing, prom sponsor, at a salary of $1,373, for the 2022-23 school year.

— Discussed and approved board meeting dates for June and July. The board will meet once in June (June 20) and twice in July (July 11 and July 25). All three meetings will begin at 6:15 p.m.

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