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Renovation, addition projects are main topics

By Staff | Jan 14, 2011

Zerr Berg Architects were at the special meeting of the school board on Tuesday, Jan. 11 to report on the Rugby High School renovation and addition project.

The architects reported that schematic design and design development are completed and 60% of coordinating with construction is done.

Bids for the project will begin being advertised at the end of the month. A tentative bid date has been set for Feb. 22 but that date is subject to change as needed. After the bid opening the school board may have to meet in a special session.

The proposal the architects brought would cost $7.1 million. Since the school has budgeted for a $6 million project, it will have to be trimmed. The $7.1 million includes everything anyone has ever proposed for the project which will make it easier to trim back.

The board and architects discussed several options for trimming the cost. No final decisions were made at this meeting.

After the adjournment of the special meeting at 7 p.m., the school board met for their regular January meeting.

At this meeting, parents, Steve Mueller and Gerald Jaeger, brought a request that the board consider adding a fifth and sixth grades basketball program. Mueller spoke first and talked about how having a 5th and 6th grade basketball program sponsored by the school would provide for continuity in coaching for those who go on to the junior high and high school programs.

Cory Johnson, school board member, donned his parent cap, and asked the board to consider the request.

“It could even be a two-year trial situation,” Johnson said.

Apparently, not as many parents step up to volunteer to coach and organize schedules as in the past. Mueller said that the kids seem to respond better to a person that more accurately represents a coach to them than parents as coaches.

He mentioned that Rugby Boys Basketball Coach Mike Santjer is involved in the volunteer program that the parents organized.

Board member Chuck Volk likes the idea but said, “We have to look at the big picture. All sports should have the same chance.”

“We thought we could start out with one sport first and work up,” replied Johnson during the discussion.

Superintendent Jeff Lind said he visited with principals and the athletic director on this issue. “I see it tying in with the 7th and 8th grade program. He talked about the pros and cons of going through the school with this program:

If the school hires the coach, that person is accountable to the school just like every other employee.

Liability would be an issue.

Sports physicals would be necessary.

People would know who to go to with concerns.

Transportation of players would need to remain the responsibility of the parents.

Would there be a charge to offset costs?

Eligibility/academic issues.

Lind suggests that the position be that of coach/program coordinator who arranges for game workers, supervision, and other aspects of hosting a game schedule, as well as coaches.

After quite a lengthy discussion, at least three of the board members wanted more information.

“I like the program but as a board member we have to consider everything,” said Volk.

Susie Schmaltz concurred with Volk. “This needs more discussion,” she said. “We need to have our ducks in a row.”

“Let’s find out what other schools are doing,” added Mark Hamilton.

It was decided to table the discussion until the next meeting so the board members could gather more information.

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