At its regular monthly meeting, the Board heard the latest updates on the elementary building project from Tim Ruppert of HSR. (Scroll past the video for more article text)

Ruppert stated the discussions have reached a milestone of now moving into engineering conversations, and the district is halfway through the design process. “Right where we want to be,” said Ruppert.

Designs are now moving from two dimensional to three dimensional, and the floor plan is pretty much locked in with less moving around of spaces, and more development of the spaces.

He believes the project will be bid out in January, which is the “perfect time.”

Ruppert also mentioned the Focus on Energy rebate program, which he highly recommends. It gives incentives to go more energy efficient with building code and good practice driving conversations.

Ruppert also touched on the purchase of furniture, stating furniture should be aligned with the design of the space. HSR recommends bringing on a furniture vendor as part of the design process. “We can work better within the established budget and have better control of quality and durability,” said Ruppert, adding those things are difficult to control during a traditional bidding process.

The building materials for exterior walls of the addition were also discussed. Ruppert stated HSR recommends either insulated precast wall panels or natural stone accents over brick because brick is too hard to match the color. The other materials would purposely complement the existing building, not try to match it.

(Go to the three minute mark of the video)

Other business:

— Board President Jeff Basting read a letter from Andy Busch, who resigned his position on the Board effective August 23. The letter thanked those who had reached out in concern over his resignation. Mr. Busch added, due to state law, he needed to resign his Board seat in order to be able to apply for employment in the district. (This discussion begins the meeting video)

— The Board continued discussion of purchasing land adjacent to the current elementary school. The land would be a designated playspace while the current lower lot that doubles as a playspace and a parking lot would then be able to be designed solely for parking and traffic flow.

Some Board members are concerned about a mine shaft under the land up for purchase and would like more information before making a decision.

Tim Ruppert of HSR said the space would not have a building structure placed on it, and would just be used for play.

Board members Tony Dahl and Larry Steffes shared similar concerns that purchase of land was not part of the original referendum plan taken to the community.

Board member Aaron Dunn stated he would like to see HSR bring back a conceptual design plan as to what the green space would look like before he makes a decision.

A motion to table the discussion of land purchase was a tie vote (which means no action). Dunn, Nate Chambers, and Jeff Basting voted in favor of tabling with Dahl, Everett Lindsey, and Steffes voting against.

A motion was then made to not purchase the land. That failed by a 4-2 vote with Dahl and Steffes voting yes and the remaining voting against.

A motion was then made to restudy the lots for the potential of purchasing the land. This passed 4-2 with Dahl and Steffes voting against.

(Go to the one hour, one minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board approved the posting of a weekend custodian (20 hours). The position will be funded out of Fund 80 (Community Service Fund). This passed 4-2 with Steffes and Basting voting no. (Go to the 47 minute mark)

— The Board unanimously approved the hiring of Meg Cullen as a high school instructional assistant. (Go to the one hour, 30 minute mark)

— Superintendent Mitch Wainwright gave his monthly budget update to the Board. (Go to the 39 minute mark)

— Wainwright provided an update to the Board regarding its vacancy. Two people have currently applied for the seat. The deadline is September 23. Applicants should then plan on attending the October 14 Board meeting and the Board will select its next member. (Go to the one hour, 34 minute mark)

— The Board approved the bills payable and credit card statement by a 5-0-1 vote with Basting abstaining. (Go to the one hour, 31 minute, 30 second mark)

— The Board will hold a retreat to discuss its goals for the new school year Monday, September 16 beginning at 5:30 pm at the Walker House. Agenda info:

— The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board will take place Monday, October 14 beginning at 6:30 pm.