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November 19, 2019

10/18/2019 10:35:00 AM
Good financial picture for school district building project

When the bid opening was held for the upgrades at Dodgeville High School, the figures came in $1.3 million over what was estimated, but that was not a huge cause of concern for the school board.
Board member David Blume said the costs are the result of a strong construction market at the present time but the district is in good financial condition for the project to continue.
There may be some value engineering tweaks that will cut some costs was one of the items discussed to get closer to the desired figure. There are also interest earnings from investments the board has made in anticipation of potential higher costs.
Also, the fundraising group has exceeded expectations and is looking to add another $50,000 to the project. There are also expected energy rebates and money in fund balance that could be used without a huge affect on what that fund is designed to do.
District administrator Dr. Jeff Jacobson agreed.
"Fundraising, interest earnings, a healthy budget and a good contingency fund has put us in a very good place," Jacobson said. "We are building this to last at least 50 years plus."
It was also noted, the construction is presently on schedule with Jacobson visiting the site on a daily basis to touch base.
Later in the meeting the board approved the building project funding project.
In other business the board discussed the updates on projects at the Ridgeway school and will be seeking additional input as they proceed with the needed upgrades.
The policy committee report was given by Mike Knoedler. He updated the board on membership in the Wisconsin Rural Schools Association which is both a lobby group for smaller schools and a group involved in getting parents involved in the schools.
New member of the administrative team, Bob Smoode, has been associated with the association and spoke highly of its mission.
Knoedler also discussed the projects before the curricular/co-curricular committee. He said middle school spanish has received enough interest to have 55 students in three sections, and it may be possible for successful completion to allow Spanish 1 to be by-passed at the high school level so the students can go into Spanish 2.
He also said the Oregon Mental Health organization that works with the Free Clinic and several area school districts has met with administration, counselors, the board committee and the anticipated launch of the service is November 1.
There was also discussion of college credit at UW-Oshkosh for what the district offers and a request has been made of UW-Whitewater to consider taking Dodgeville courses and also offer college credit.
Later the board approved ECCP and Start College Now requests. Nyberg said the list was scrutinized and offered several request for approval.
"This is change high school in the future," Jacobson commented.
The board approved the second reading of a policy on post secondary learning options that needed upgrading to determine fee payment schedule.
Four students were granted early graduation. Leaving early with their credits earned are Matthew Hauser, Megan Adams, Marissa Soto and Gavin Thompson.
The board approved winter coaching contracts and several club and advisor positions for the district.
The board approved a resignation request from Brenda Niesman from the support staff as she has acquired a position closer to her home in Green County.
They also approved a request to hire Michelle Bender as a special education assistant in the elementary school pending a successful background check.
In the public participation of the meeting the board heard a report from local Boy Scout Max Brugger who is a junior at DHS and has completed work on the signage on the trail through the arboretum along with other upgrades.
Brugger said he involved several scouts, adult leaders and former teacher Gari Walz in the project. He said Diggers Hotline was brought in to determine where it was safe to dig.
The board thanked him for the improvements and signed off on the project so he can pursue his Eagle Scout award.
Also presented to the board were two National Merit Scholarship finalists making this the first time Dodgeville has had two at the same time. They are Will Kramer and Elijah Gregg.
And, art teacher Lisa Humke presented four students who have place in statewide art contests. They include Emma Webb, Annah Freeman, Sarah Smith and Zoey French.
Emma Webb placed second in the state contest with a mask she made in art class. She explained to the board how she made the mask for the competition.
Tom Butosov, Dodgeville tech ed instructor, was present with Max Konop and asked the board to consider a matching grant for a robotics component of Skills USA. Konop said he had built a robot for competition that would function as a search and rescue drone to view bombed out areas and locate explosives. Butosov has applied for a $1000 grant that requires a $1000 match and asked the board if they were interested. He was referred to principal Laura Nyberg to sort out the details.

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