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School board approves alley reroute

By Staff | Mar 15, 2019

The Rugby Public School District voted to begin the process of closing part of an avenue and rerouting an alley.

In a regular meeting Tuesday morning in the Rugby High School conference room, the Rugby Public School District No. 5 Board of Education met with Citizens Committee members Cory Geiszler and Jodie Kirchofner. The board then voted to approve the committee’s recommendation to reroute the alley a block west of Ely Elementary north and toward Second Street SW and to close Third Avenue SW between school district-owned properties.

With the vote by the board, it will be up to the Rugby City Council to decide if the alley rerouting and avenue closure will go forward.

Formed to address space concerns at Ely, the committee met four times – twice in 2018 and twice this year. Themes discussed at a meeting in November 2018 included reconfiguring grade levels (including moving kindergarten and sixth grade offsite); a new location; remodeling/adding on; and school safety.

Geiszler said the committee was still “exploratory.”

Superintendent Mike McNeff discussed results of a survey done by committee members (With 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree”). Out of 17 respondents, building an addition onto the school received the most agreement with 13 agreeing or strongly agreeing.

Kirchofner said everyone in the committee agreed that something needed to be done to address space concerns.

“I think we’re all just like, ‘What?’ ” Kirchofner said.

Geiszler said if the committee had more answers, they could be more definite in their recommendations.

Ely principal Jason Gullickson said when he started as principal 243 students were enrolled.

“We’re full,” Gullickson said, adding that “every part” of the Ely Elementary building “is small.”

Board member Dustin Hager was absent, and member Brenda Heilman was present by phone.

Other actions

– The board approved superintendent evaluations.

– The board approved a petition to negotiate from the Rugby Education Association.

– The board approved a contract for Stephanie Skeen.

– The board approved the consent agenda, which included February meeting minutes, bills, financials, a resignation for ag instructor Travis Fritel and a contract for music teacher Abby Landsteiner.

– The board discussed bills going through the Legislature that were of interest to school districts, including ones regarding guns in schools, funding, teacher licensing and tenure.

– The board discussed a Choice Ready memo and food service audit report the district received from the N.D. Department of Public Instruction.

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