Alta and Aurelia School Boards meet

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Alta and Aurelia School Boards met in regular session Monday.

The first order of business was the awarding of bids for the renovation project at the Aurelia facilities which addresses American Disability Act compliance.

Woodruff Construction turned in the lowest bid of $905,000 for the base bid. The board was hoping the base bid would come in at $1.2-$1.3 million so were very pleased.

The total cost is expected to be $1.3-$1.4 million as opposed to their projected $1.5-$1.8 million.

The plans include adding an elevator, relocating the basement-level kitchen and cafeteria to the first floor, replacing wooden bleachers and putting in a new gym floor.

Students are done with school on May 23 and work will begin nearly immediately. The gym work will be completed by September for the start of volleyball and it is anticipated the cafeteria will be completed by then as well.

Parking at the Alta Elementary has been a constant safety concern.

Administrators and the facilities committee are looking at solutions.

One solution may be to put in a bus-access lane. There are pros and cons and there are costs, said Superintendent Lynn Evans. The project they are taking a look at would include 126 feet of cement and that is not a low cost item. Safety for the kids will be the determining factor.

No decision was made at this time.

Another issue that the board and city has worked on together to help resolve is the traffic flow at the elementary school.

Since the high school has moved into the former middle school, the traffic flow created by students leaving from the south parking lots and traveling north on Main Street has created a mess for parents picking up their elementary kids and for bus boarding. To solve the problem, there will be no north turns from 3-4 p.m.; only south turns.

The Aurelia and Alta School Boards approved classified staff salaries for the following school year.

The Aurelia Board approved a 3.86 percent total package salary increase. The Alta Board approved a 3.5 percent increase. The increases will cost a total of $19,000 to the Alta district and $8,543 to the Aurelia district.

Certified staff at Aurelia will receive a 3.86 percent increase which will includes a $600 increase to the base salary (same as Alta). Alta's board approved its certified salary increases last month with a 4.15 increase. There will also be some language changes in the contracts.

It is the goal to bring the salaries of the certified and classified staffs closer together.

Principals in the district will each receive a $2,000 increase and the board secretary will receive an extra $1,700.

Alta is in need of a new bus and they got a great deal on one.

Bids were received from Thomas Built of Des Moines and Blue Bird of Waterloo for a 2013 65-passenger bus. The Alta board accepted the bid from Thomas Built who will take as a trade in one of the two handicap buses, knocking off $45,000 from the $82,675 price tag. The Alta district will get the new bus for $37,675. It is expected to be delivered in August of September.

Federal regulations are requiring all school districts to bring the price of school-served meals up to the reimbursement amounts they receive per meal. At the present time, that is $2.77 for lunches and $1.80 for breakfasts. Supt. Evans suggested to the boards to get the meal prices in both districts closer to the same price.

Current prices and the board-approved new prices at Alta are:

* Lunch K-5 - $1.75 - $1.85

* Lunch 9-12 - $1.85 - $1.95

* Lunch Adult - $2.60 - unchanged

* Breakfast K-12 - $1.10 - $1.15

* Breakfast Adult - $1.20 - $1.35

Current prices and the board-approved new prices at Aurelia are:

* Lunch K-8 - $1.70 - $1.85

* Lunch Adult - $2.60 - unchanged

* Breakfast K-8 - 90 cents - $1.15

* Breakfast Adult - $1.35 - unchanged

Alta will again be offering the summer free food program, offering nutritious meals to children 1-18, five days a week.

Adults accompanying children may also enjoy the meals for a low cost.

Head cook Deb Hanson also welcomes kids who are attending a day care in the community. The one requirement is that the meals must be eaten onsite.

No reservations will be necessary and serving will take place in the elementary multipurpose room.

Milk bids were approved. Dean Foods (Wells and Land O Lakes) was the only bidder. The bid is lower than last year at 20 cents per carton.

Bread bids were also approved and accepted from Sara Lee.

Resignations were received and approved from:

* Colleen Schwanz, high school football cheer leading sponsor (Alta contract)

* Jim Demers, physical education instructor (Aurelia contract)

* G.G. Harris, varsity girls basketball and assistant varsity football (Alta contract)

Contracts will be offered to:

* Randy Bissen, boys basketball varsity head coach (Alta contract)

* Brandon Assman, part-time English instructor, extracurricular high school speech and high school At-Risk Associate (all Alta contracts)

Dave Curbow had turned in his early retirement application but has withdrawn and would like to continue teaching. He will forfeit any early retirement incentive he would have received from the school by doing this.