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Local schools to get fix-ups

On Monday, the Alexandria School Board approved spending about $667,000 on capital improvements, deferred maintenance, and health and safety projects next school year district-wide.

Projects vary from landscaping, sidewalks and kitchen exhaust improvements to remote door locks installation, new carpet and fire door replacement. Highlights include:

--$74,957 to facility site and grounds for projects like: $9,757 for replacement of pool entrance doors at Discovery Middle School, $12,500 for bus garage shingle repair and siding paint at Garfield Elementary School bus garage, $2,500 for replacement of LP tanks and repiping at Miltona Science Magnet School, and $4,000 for track and tennis court repair at Jefferson High School.

--$140,216 to facility buildings for projects like: $5,000 for kitchen exhaust improvements at Discovery Middle School, $4,455 for u-shaped lights installation at Voyager Elementary School, $4,500 for a roll-up kitchen door/divider at Carlos Elementary School, $4,400 for tile replacement in the main lobby and hall at Garfield Elementary School.

--$61,000 to facility equipment for projects like: $30,000 for custodial equipment district-wide, $6,000 for replacement of a mower at Miltona Science Magnet School, $20,000 for purchase of a plow truck and $5,000 for rental of a tractor for blower use.

--$222,950 to deferred maintenance projects like: $35,128 for carpet replacement at Discovery Middle School, $25,000 for replacement of diving pedestals at Discovery Middle School, $20,000 for roof repairs district-wide, and $15,000 for fence repairs district-wide.

There are many more projects included in the overall project list and School District Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Jerry Bitzan detailed the proposed plans for improvements and installations.

After Bitzan reviewed the project list, School District Business Manager Trevor Peterson added, "Half [of the project list] we have concrete numbers for at this time and the other half are estimates. Depending where some of them come in, it is subject to change as the year goes along and they become more concrete numbers. Yeah, we're asking to approve this list, but with the understanding that [the mix of firm figures and estimates] often does and will happen again."


In other business, the school board:

--Heard a presentation from Brad Lundell, executive director for the lobbying organization Schools for Equity in Education (SEE). SEE represents 62 school districts throughout the state working for equal access to a quality education for all of Minnesota's students regardless of the property wealth in their local school district. The board did not take action on whether or not District 206 will join SEE.

--Heard an update on the new high school construction project. Work is moving along as well as can be expected with the late winter weather. Currently, work is being done in the classroom wing, concrete and structural steel work, gym roofing, ground thawing and above-grade work in the auditorium, music and arts areas.

--Approved the middle school transition plan that lays out the new schedule for middle school students to follow beginning in the fall of 2014.

--Approved the calendar revision for the end of this school year. With the additional snow days forcing school to close, two days have been added to the calendar - Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31, which will be the last day of school this year.

The next Alexandria School Board meeting is set for Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. in the District Office conference room, located at Woodland Elementary School in Alexandria.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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