At Monday’s meeting of the Lake Preston Board of Education, school board members and administrators discussed possible Covid-19 concerns going into the 2020-21 school year. Superintendent Dana Felderman stated that he wants to look forward to the new school year, but he acknowledged that there may be some changes and a lot of things could happen before then. The new school year is slated to begin Aug. 19.
“Right now, no one plans to not open,” said Felderman. He plans to have meetings with parents and staff to get a plan in place to move forward.
“I feel really good about it, but we’ll see more (of what the plan is) in another month,” he said. “Every district in the state is waiting.”
Felderman also said the district still has some coaching vacancies. The board approved new contract wording for any new coaching hires who are not certified as teachers. The contracts would specify that if such employees are hired only to coach, but the season is cancelled, they would not be paid. If a season is cut short, their pay would be pro-rated.
• School board members voted to table further discussion about repairing a heavily damaged storage building or replacing it until next month. The building, an old schoolhouse, had most recently been used for cold storage and has had so much water and other damage that it is no longer usable as is. Felderman said everything that was stored in the building will have to be disposed of. Removing the old structure and replacing it with a new one is estimated to cost about $60,000, while cosmetic repairs to the old one would be about $30,000.
“I don’t like the idea of spending $60,000,” board member Travis Denison said, “but I don’t like putting $30,000 into that building either.”
“I think we need to do something,” said board member Brett Anderson. Anderson stated that $50 a month to rent a storage unit for the time being might be a good option. “I’d like to kick this a ways down the road,” he said.
Board member Stacia Sneesby commented that it would not have to be a top-notch building if it is just for storage, and board member Amanda Wienk asked how large a new building would be.
In other business, the board accomplished items of business such as:
• Voted to name The Kingsbury Journal as their official newspaper
• Reviewed insurance matters
• Approved the 2019-20 supplemental budget and capital outlay transfer
• Accepted the resignation of head girls’ basketball coach Ryan McCutcheon
The next scheduled meeting is at 5:30 p.m. July 13 in the school gymnasium