Athletic Director Grant Peckenschneider discussed updates to the school gymnasium and fitness center during his report to the Aurelia School Board at Tuesday's Board meeting. Peckenschneider has looked into changes needed in the gym due to the school's transformation into the Alta-Aurelia Middle School this coming fall. Bids were presented on mats for the stage and scorer's table, refinishing the gym floor, and painting the gym. In light of gym renovation possibilities, the Board put the issue of mats on hold for the time being, until a renovation plan can be decided upon.
Peckenschneider told the board that no interest in painting the gym was shown by Aurelia businesses, so the Board approved a bid of $3500 by Paul Grieme of Alta for the painting of the gym, to include new white paint for the walls, a Navy and red stripe around the top of the walls, and patching and new plaster where needed.
The Board also reviewed an $8300 bid by Shadran Industries to refinish the gym floor, and instructed Supt. Johnson to see what the cost would be if Shadran simply replaced existing Bulldog logos with "Warriors." It was felt that refinishing the floor at this time was not prudent in light of the possibility of gym renovations, as has been recommended. Board members did feel, however, that adding "Warriors" logos would be a good move at this time, and if this can be done for a lot less money than the estimated total refinishing cost, that would be preferable. The Warrior Booster Club has given $1000 towards the gym improvement costs.
As requested by the Board at a previous meeting, Peckenschneider brought cost estimates on some Fitness Center equipment purchases he had suggested. After reviewing the requests, the Board approved the purchase of Smith Machine, Thigh Machine and two X70 Ellipticals. The total cost is $7369, but a $4800 Legacy Grant from the Cherokee County Foundation will be applied to this purchase, leaving an amount of $2569 to be paid from the school budget.
Coach Peck also requested a third Junior High football coach be hired, in light of the large number of boys who indicated that they would be coming out for the sport this fall, and that request was approved. Advertisements for the position will be posted. Coach Peck also said that the junior high volleyball coach has resigned due to schedule conflicts and he will be posting that position. He did not anticipate any problem in filling the position. There has been a great deal of student interest expressed in each of the sports to be offered to junior high this year, and large numbers are anticipated.
In other business, the Board reviewed and approved contracts for Classified Staff, with the exception of bus drivers. Duties of this position will be examined further before final contracts are offered.
The Board also approved a bid from B.L.I. Lighting to provide new lighting for the music rooms, locker rooms and shower rooms; accepted the audit report; amended the extra duty salary schedule due to some changes in schedules and responsibilities; approved coaching contracts; approved joining the statewide IAEP purchasing agreement; and approved the renewal of the school's insurance with Employer's Mutual, following a presentation by agent Brian Lockin, who detailed some of the advantages of the plan, which the Aurelia District has had for 37 years. Lockin said that more than 300 schools in Iowa have their insurance with EMC. He also said that EMC paid a dividend of more than 10% of the premium back to the school this year, and that the Aurelia District has an excellent rating on Workmen's Compensation. He also said that he felt no major changes in the policy will be needed in the current policy due to the upcoming whole-grade sharing with Alta, and he will be working with an agent from Alta who has been working with that district's policy. Jerry Jensen of Jensen Insurance was also at the meeting and he reminded Board members that he offers a voluntary supplemental accident insurance policy for students. Last year, there were five students in the district who chose to sign up for that policy, and Jensen said that there are no changes in that policy this year, and it will be available to all students.
In other business, the Board approved a two-year contract for Ann Sandine as Middle School Principal at the same salary she received this year. She will be switching from an individual insurance policy to a Family plan. The Board also accepted the resignations of second grade teacher Colleen Lutz and custodian Roger Dreier, expressing their appreciation for their service to the District.