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Alexandria school district searches for new leader

The search is on for a new superintendent for Alexandria School District 206. School board members discussed the search at their regular meeting Monday.

Terry Quist, who has served as superintendent of the district for the past six years, is retiring on December 31.

The timeline for filling the position is as follows:

August 22 - application deadline.

September 10 - final slate of candidates announced.

Mid-October - final selection announced.

Around January 1 - new superintendent begins position.


The board also completed the process for Bid Package 1 for the new high school and approved the issuance of Bid Package 2.

At a special meeting May 31, the board voted to reject all bids for the site concrete package and put the package out for rebidding. Significant differences in the bids led to the realization that competing bidders were understanding the plans differently and not bidding the exact same scope of work.

The Tradesmen Construction of Alexandria was the low bidder for the site concrete. The next highest bid - submitted by an out-of-town bidder - included additional concrete work/sidewalks that were not included in Tradesmen's bid.

Board members voted to reject all bids, have Kraus-Anderson, the construction management firm for the project, clarify the scope of the work, and put the package out for re-bidding.

Steve Jensen from Kraus-Anderson provided an overview of the rebids at Monday's meeting. The board voted unanimously to accept the low bid of $278,762 from Duncan Concrete, Inc. of Browerville. The bid was $82,238 below project estimates.

The board also approved the issuance of Bid Package 2, which includes the following work scopes - footings and foundations; precast concrete; structural steel - supply; wood glue lam - supply; and structural steel and glue lam - erection. The overall budget for the package is $5,946,000. Approval of bids is scheduled for the August board meeting.

Also at Monday's meeting, representatives of Cunningham Group and KRI Engineering presented an overview of the heating and cooling system for the new high school.


Following are other items that were discussed and acted upon at Monday's meeting:

--Julie Critz presented an overview and next steps of the district's 2012-13 strategic plan. The plan was approved by the board. Administration will now begin work on marketing the plan, putting together an executive summary and preparing activities for the 2012-13 annual plan.

--The board approved a request from Miltona Elementary School to hold a 5K walk/run on July 21. The event will raise funds for new playground equipment, student recognition and classroom instructional supplies.

--The board approved the recall of 15 teachers on a full or part-time basis from nonrenewal and unrequested leaves of absences. In March and April, 19 learning resource teachers, 19 probationary teachers and six tenured teachers were placed on nonrenewal or unrequested leave of absence status due to a projected budget shortfall.

Student enrollment numbers, student registrations and availability of funding for 2012-13 played a role in the recalls, as well as teacher resignations and retirements that were submitted after the first part of March.

According to Judy Backhaus, District 206 human resources director, the equivalent of 19.8 certified teaching positions have been eliminated for the coming school year.

--The board adopted a resolution relating to election of school board members and calling for the school district general election.

Filing for board positions runs from July 31 to August 14 for positions 1, 6 and 7, currently held by Pam Carlson, Dave Anderson and Jim Hafdal. The positions begin January 1, 2013 and are four-year terms.

BitzanTara Bitzan Tara Bitzan is a lifelong Douglas County resident. She obtained a degree in Mass Communications/Print Journalism and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She joined the Echo Press in 1991 and currently serves as the Life/Variety/Special Projects editor. She lives in rural Douglas County with her husband, Dennis, and their daughters, Courtney and Cayla. Follow Life Editor Tara Bitzan on Twitter at @TBitzan.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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