New middle school to enter design phase

School Board
Pete Temple
Express Associate Editor

     A design, bidding and construction schedule for Monticello’s new middle school, as well as a visioning exercise, were part of the Monticello School Board’s regular meeting Oct. 22.

     Representatives from OPN Architects gave a facility update and offered an activity for those in attendance at the meeting.

     The activity was a visioning exercise, which involved looking at photos of various school designs, both inside and outside. Participants were asked to place green stickers on design ideas they liked, and red stickers on those they didn’t, and then use a marker to offer comments on which portions they were for or against.

     OPN has been collecting similar data from other groups in the community, in order to try to narrow down design ideas for the new school building that will be functional and desirable.

     Katie Harms, project architect for OPN, then offered the proposed timeline for the next phases of the project. Those included creating the design in November, working on design development in December, beginning the construction document phase in January, and implementing the bidding process in April.

     Construction would then begin in May 2019 and take place over a 15-month period, with hopes of a July 2020 move-in.

     OPN will return for the Nov. 26 board meeting for further updates.

     Two other school board items related to the new middle school were on the agenda. The board also approved contracts with Piper Jaffray for bond financing services. Superintendent Brian Jaeger said the contracts were reviewed by attorneys at Dorsey Whitney LLP, and the firm recommended the board approve them.

     Also, the board approved an agreement with Hall & Hall Engineers for a traffic study on Highway 38, at the existing and proposed access locations to the high school.

In other board business:

     • approved an agreement with Hall & Hall Engineers for a traffic study on Highway 38, at the existing and proposed access locations to the high school.

     • approved Board Policy #1005.5 regarding memorials and special recognition. The topic was discussed frequently at recent meetings, and the board settled on a policy that leaves naming rights or recognitions for larger structures to the board. which, according to the policy, “will strive for a unanimous consensus on these items.”

     Smaller items, such as advertising on pieces of athletic equipment, the naming on bricks in the auditorium, will be left to the superintendent.

     • approved a resolution of intent for the Instructional Support Program Levy, and set a public hearing for the levy on Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. The board agreed to reconsider the levy every year – it has the option of revisiting it every 1-5 years, in order to give the public chances to comment on it each year.

     • approved, as part of the consent agenda, the appointments of Teresa Reuter as special ed bus driver, Jessica Rubin as high school cheerleading sponsor, Kaitlyn Hunt as school volunteer, and the list of winter coaches and volunteers.

     • approved the list of early graduation requests.

     • changed the date of the November work session to Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m., as Jaeger will be unavailable for the previously scheduled Nov. 14 date.



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