Board considers next steps in building study

Posted May 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm

By Pete Temple

Express Sports Editor

Kevin Eipperle of FEH Associates, Inc. said the most popular option for new school facilities to come out of recent meetings involves putting all grade levels at the Monticello High School site.

Speaking to the Monticello School Board and about 25 others, mostly school employees, Eipperle reviewed the results of past meetings during a special board meeting Wednesday, May 8.

While there has been support for a new K-8 building adjacent to the high school, the majority of those who attended the April 11-12 workshop on the topic chose another option, which was to add a grade 6-8 building to the current high school and build a new, K-5 building on property that currently houses the high school softball and soccer fields.

“It was as close to a consensus as you can get,” Eipperle said.

He listed a series of “next steps” that were discussed at the meeting, including determining the availability of adjacent land at the high school, identifying supplemental funding opportunities, and strategies for temporary housing of fifth-grade students during construction.

“We have to know about more land before we get too much farther down the road,” technology facilitator Curt Tauke said.

Concerns were raised at the meeting. Among them was whether the results of the workshop were valid, since largely teachers and other school employees were doing the voting.

Questions about auditoriums, a commons area, parking and others were brought up and discussed.

Still another was raised by former teacher Deb Bowman. She said that when the high school was built, the idea was to separate high school students from middle school students, and “to put them back together would be a fairly interesting sell to the public.”

Most agreed that the next step will be to form a committee, representing several facets of the public, to discuss the future of these ideas.

Following the meeting, the board held a work session to discuss the following: foreign exchange student, financial literacy seminar high school, the Shannon playground, ALICE training, the 2011-12 audit report, non-certified contracts and sharing personnel. No action or voting took place on any of those items.