The Mineral Point School Board began its meeting Monday night by honoring three businesses named to the 2019 Wisconsin Association of School Boards Business Honor Roll. (Scroll past the video for more article text)

Military Ridge Veterinary Service & Sleepy Valley Kennels, LLC: Military Ridge Veterinary Service of Dodgeville provided discounted services for Mineral Point Elementary School’s first-ever therapy dog, Cooper. Sleepy Valley Kennels of Mineral Point was so generous as to donate Cooper. The district is excited to have Cooper on staff to provide emotional support for students. Present were Amy Robinson and Claudia & Jackie Spoor.

Shake Rag Alley: Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point is a true center for the arts. Shake Rag Alley generously allows the use of its outdoor amphitheater for Mineral Point Elementary School’s 5th Grade Graduation ceremony each spring. Shake Rag Alley also offers week-long residencies to their annual writing contest winners. These authors then visit Mineral Point Schools to speak to students about the writing process and their publications. Additionally, Mineral Point is home to many talented, professional artists and Shake Rag Alley has hosted free art workshops for elementary students. Present were Board President Mike Christensen, Vice President Lorraine Reynolds, Secretary Betty Hogan, Executive Director Sara Lomasz Flesch, Program Director Carole Spelic’ & Youth Program Director Elizabeth Johanna.

The Board also honored AJ Rury for his gold medal in bowling at the State Special Olympics.

(This portion of the meeting begins the video)

Other business:

— The April 2020 School Board election timeline was discussed.

Dec 27th (5:00 pm) Deadline for Incumbents to File Notice of Noncandidacy (Jeff Basting, Tony Dahl, Gary Sullivan)

Jan 7th (5:00 pm) Deadline for Candidates to File ALL Documents needed to establish eligibility to appear on Spring 2020 Ballot.

To learn more about the election, please contact the District Office at 987-0740.

(Go to the 32 minute, 30 second mark)

— HSR architects were before the board for their monthly update regarding the elementary renovation/addition.

Tim Ruppert of HSR spoke for some time regarding potential options for construction phasing, stating trying to occupy a building while it’s undergoing construction can be challenging. It’s important to establish parameters for contractors to work within.

It is HSR’s recommendation to start on the building addition first come spring. Once completed, that area will then become occupied. The addition would be done independent of the renovation, which would alleviate having to bring in temporary classrooms and displace multiple grade levels.

He added trying to do heavy renovation areas is not something HSR would feel comfortable doing while the building is occupied as it is noisy and disruptive to education.

Some board members expressed concern with HSR’s plan, largely worried that waiting to do the foundation work could mean not knowing how severe the issues with the foundation are until later in the project, which could result in tighter budget constraints.

Discussion then continued as to where students could be moved offsite, should the board decide to do the heavy renovation first, instead of building the addition. The board will need to make a decision in the relative near future as to which route it would like to go.

HSR is still looking to issue bid documents the last week of January with a bid date of February 25.

The board unanimously approved the latest building layout proposed by HSR, as presented Monday night, contingent upon HSR working to remedy bathroom issues for 4K.

Those renderings can be found here:

(Go to the 35 minute, 45 second mark)

— The board unanimously approved the budget amendments as presented. The Wisconsin Uniform Financial Accounting Requirements (WUFAR) codes have changed and require the district to re-code some of its accounts.

(Go to the one hour, 37 minute mark)

— The board approved the bills payable and credit card statement by a 6-0-1 vote with Basting abstaining. (Go to the one hour, 38 minute, 30 second mark)

— Following closed session, a motion was made by Chambers to allow Steffes to change his vote from Yes (approved) to No (does not approve) from the October 14th meeting regarding the pay increase for teaching staff rated as distinguished, seconded by Sullivan.  Upon roll call vote, the following voted Yes to allow the vote change: Chambers, Sullivan, Steffes, Lindsey, Dahl, Basting. No: Dunn. Motion carried (6-1). 

— The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be Monday, December 9 at 6:30 pm.