USD 410 approves bid solicitations

Staff writer

The USD 410 Board of Education approved soliciting bids for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system for the Hillsboro High School and Middle School gymnasiums on Monday.

Tom Stone of Don’s Heating and Air Inc., brought in preliminary projections for a heat pump system for the HHS gym, about $70,000, and a roof unit for the middle school gym, about $55,000. Stone was consulting for the district because Don’s Heating and Air Inc had worked on all of the HVAC systems previously.

“They know more about our systems than we do,” Superintendent Steve Noble said.

It was Noble’s recommendation to go forward with a plan to replace the HVAC systems. He said the maintenance costs for the system continue to increase and it is getting to point where it would be more economic to replace the system than the system parts when they begin to break. He also projected saving about $30,000 in utilities cost.

He added that this was a good time to purchase, lease, or do some combination of the two options because interest rates are low.

“Money is cheap right now,” Noble said.

Board members were still hesitant, even though Noble said they could still back out after bids are presented.

“If something is not broke, why do we have to fix it?” board member Rod Koons said.

Transportation and maintenance supervisor Keith Goosen will prepare plans for companies to bid.

In other business:

  • The board heard a presentation by Families and Communities Together Coordinator Ashley Gann. The district makes a yearly $2,500 contribution to FACT through TEEN. USD 410 employees gave more than $4,000 in individual contributions out of their checks. Gann said FACT’s primary goal is providing financial assistance for families.
  • The board approved an audit from Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk, and Loyd. Sara Buehrle represented the McPherson accounting firm at the meeting and reported there was nothing out of the ordinary.
  • The board approved the technology plan presented by Technology Coordinator Brad Just. One of the district’s concerns is measuring how teachers are using technology in the classroom. Part of the plan is for teachers to fill out evaluation forms to grade themselves on the use of technology.
  • The board approved new district goals. Facilities were added as a new category, replacing alternative forms of revenue from the 2012-13 plan. Improving the HVAC systems was the No. 1 priority under the facilities goal, followed by replacing phone system, and repairing base of Hillsboro Elementary School playground.
  • Board member Chad Nowak was selected as the board delegate for Kansas Association of School Boards Conference on Dec. 2 in Topeka.
  • Resignations were accepted for HHS secretary Donna Dalke, bus driver and maintenance worker Tim Isaac, and English-as-a-second-language aide Marcia Findeis.
  • Contracts were approved for Caroline Brazil who will take Dalke’s hours, moving from part-time to full-time, Erin Carr who is a HMS girls’ basketball assistant coach, and bus driver Amanda Marler who added 1.5 hours to her schedule.
  • Noble said the Kansas School Superintendents Association was presenting the definition of College and Career Ready Students to the State Board of Education. Noble was part of the group of superintendents working on the definition, which is crucial because the state has made it a point of emphasis to be the top ranked state in College and Career Ready preparedness. The definition includes students being prepared to enroll in college or university-credit classes, without need for remediation, or students who receive a certificate for a specific employment skill. Soft skills will also be assessed, like students propensity to show up on time and communicate with potential customers.
  • Noble has also been working on a draft of the Kansas Educator Evaluation Protocol, which is a combined effort between administrators and teachers to measure teacher effectiveness. Noble said the evaluation of student growth is the area of strongest debate in the KEEP process.
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