Saturday, March 30, 2024

Exeter-Milligan School board meets

 Fourteen guests attended the Exeter-Milligan school board meeting on Monday, March 18 with the majority of those staff members or spouses of board members.  Two students also attended the meeting.

The board moved through the consensus agenda and there was no policy review or curriculum report scheduled. Superintendent Paul Sheffield quickly reviewed the consolidation packet that was presented in all four of the special meetings held jointly with the Friend school board.

There were no takers when the board opened the floor for public comment.

Moving on to a discussion of the possible consolidation, Sheffield remarked that he and Friend Superintendent Derek Anderson would submit the consolidation application this summer as there are a number of steps to the process of forming a new district.

Sheffield also reported on building projects updates in Exeter including the HVAC work that is planned for this summer.  He also informed the board he has continued to work with DLR (an architecture and design firm) to “maximize the space we have if we have K-5 here.”

The district would need to add an additional classroom for each grade level.  One plan called for an addition of two new classrooms but with a price tag of $3.8 million that option was eliminated.

Currently Sheffield explained that the plan is to divide the fitness center into two kindergarten classrooms and move the fitness center and the community classroom to the current shop space.  They would also divide the small gym and create two fifth grade classrooms.

The current elementary library would become the teacher workroom as it is not handicap accessible and the current kindergarten room would be the new elementary library.

Sheffield explained that “Construction costs are high right now.  Any time you add on you have to add on a storm shelter.  Since we aren’t adding any square footage we wouldn’t have to do that.  We have the flexibility in the building fund we could fund it ourselves with what we have.”

The board made no comment on the design options and moved on to discuss teacher contracts.  Kelly Rischling accepted a contract to teach first grade next year and Sandi Snyder accepted a one year contract to teach high school math.

The board accepted the resignation of first grade teacher Haley Johnson and speech therapist Kara Myers. They also approved the principal contract.

Sheffield gave a brief rundown on finalizing the purchase agreement with the village of Milligan for the Milligan building. No dollar amount from the EM building fund has been set yet.  The final contract will be ready for the April meeting.

The board also approved an agreement with DLR to assist in the remodeling and redesign of the Exeter elementary to accommodate more classroom space.

Board President Adam Erdkamp took a moment to speak about recent newspaper articles published in the Nebraska Signal. He went on to note that the writer had not attended any of the recent special meetings or board meetings. Erdkamp reiterated his support for Sheffield and the EM staff.

Next meeting was set for April 8 at Milligan at 8 p.m.

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