South Putnam board works toward eliminating maintenance issues
In preparation for the upcoming school year the South Putnam School Board is attempting to attend to as many maintenance issues as possible.
After a lengthy discussion during last month's meeting the board decided on Monday to put the extension parking lot on hold until the 2014-15 school year, in hopes of having more money to add a bigger lot.
The board had discussed adding an extension lot in hopes of reducing the congestion and lack of parking during special events. The lot was set to be gravel and include around 40 spaces.
"For the money it's not worth the extra 40 spaces," said board member Wesley Hacker.
The school board received three bids for the job, which ranged from $12,000-$25,000. Hacker made the motion the reject all bids and the board agreed.
This year however the board will be fixing the existing parking lots by seal coating both Central Elementary and the high school. Funding both the extension lot and the seal coating was not in the cards for this year.
Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt shared two bids with the board, which were B&J Blacktop at $49,425.75 and Black Diamond at $42,000.
The parking lots were said to have been patched in previous years to fill in a few cracks, however, they have not been properly seal coated in nearly six years.
"It's due to keep the parking lot from deteriorating," said Bernhardt.
As per Bernhardt's recommendation, the board agreed to accept the bid from Black Diamond under the condition that the project will be completed before the start of the school year.
The board also discussed petroleum for the upcoming school year, as they received bids from both Petroleum Traders and Co-Alliance.
Neither of the bids was a firm bid, as they would sell the petroleum for market price on the day of the sale.
The board has decided to try its luck and wait a few weeks before making a firm decision on which company to sign with.
However, the board agreed that it would lock in only 50 percent of its fuel usage within the next few weeks.
The other 50 percent will be purchased on an as needed basis, as both companies will allow the corporation to lock-in on market day pricing to purchase however many gallons they may need that day.
Finally, the board approved the textbook rentals for the elementary schools.
The corporation's total costs for the textbooks were kindergarten at $8,104, first grade at $10,499, second grade at $9,231, third grade at $7,233, fourth grade at $7,337 and fifth grade at $6,742.
"The prices for the earlier grades are higher," Bernhardt noted. "That is because in the beginning grades they write in those (consumable books or workbooks)."
Bernhardt noted that the prices of the consumable books or workbooks increase each year. However, the hardcover textbooks for the higher grades have prices that can be locked in for six years.
The school board is moving forward with the new septic system suggested by the Reelsville Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire department brought the proposed drawing of the new system before the board during last month's meeting. The board then talked to its attorney John Zeiner and decided it was an acceptable project.
However, the board will require the fire department, trustees and the youth league to sign an agreement prior to any work being done.
"We'd like to have a record of all those involved," said board member Nancy Wells. "This will be approved pending signatures."
The board also will include an easement in the document, as requested by the fire department, giving permission for both the fire department and the youth league to use the land in the event of the school being sold in upcoming years.
Bernhardt also announced that the move from Reelsville Elementary is nearly complete.
The moving process started last week and with the help of the varsity football team they were able to move hundreds of boxes.
"We especially appreciate all the work that Mr. (Troy) Burgess and the football team did," Bernhardt said. "It was a great help."
The fish have also been harvested from the Aquaculture lab. Nearly 2,500 were collected as the students try to cut back to a reasonable number they can manage.
The FFA will be hosting its awards banquet on June 27. They will be serving fish for dinner.
Regarding personnel matters, the board approved the maternity leave of Jackie Casebeer as well as the hiring of Rick Knapp as a bus driver.
Hacker ended the meeting reminding the community that this is an election year. The school board is looking for candidates to run in this year's election.
The Indiana School Board Association will be hosting a forum for potential candidates to learn about their role as a school board member.
The forum will take place July 25 at Greencastle High School from 6:30-9 p.m. The cost will be $30 per person.