At its regular monthly meeting Monday night, the Cherokee School Board of Education learned that the on-going insurance settlement issues of last summer's replaced lighting system at George Hicks Field have been resolved.
The District and its insurance carrier EMC have been negotiating for several months to reach agreement on total replacement costs of the new $200,000 lighting system for the WHS football field and track and field areas after the system was severely damaged in the July, 2010 tornado that struck portions of Cherokee.
A fly in the ointment was the fact the District had already approved purchasing a new lighting system and that project was scheduled for late summer 2010 before the tornado struck.
EMC maintained, according to policy, the old system must be replaced with "like, kind, and quality" and not the costlier, high-tech system the District purchased and installed. EMC had issued a replacement check of $99,000 to the District, but, according to Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom, the District was seeking an estimated $150,000 insurance settlement for the $200,000 project.
Chalstrom explained that after the lengthy negotiations with EMC, the District ultimately accepted $135,000 to settle the matter. EMC first offered the $99,000, and then increased that to $125,000, before agreeing to the $135,000 settlement after the District persisted with its $150,000 claim.
Chalstrom also was quick to point out the outstanding relationship the District has with Central Bank of Cherokee and credited agent Scott Weber, Vice President of Central Insurance, with the great work he and Central Bank did on behalf of the District and Central Insurance.
Chalstrom also reported to the Board that the new track/equipment shed will be constructed in its original location at the north end of George Hicks Field "in the next two weeks." The original facilty was demolished in the July 2010 tornado.
Chalstrom said a combination of funding from the school's PPEL fund, private donations, insurance settlement monies, and a discount from local contractor Haselhoff Construction will finance the new facility.
Chalstrom said those involved will be publicly recognized at a later date.
In other action, the Board accepted the resignation of Cara Lubeck as varsity softball coach pending finding a suitable replacement; accepted the resignation of RaeAnn Peterson as special education associate at Washington High School; accepted the reisgnation of Melissa Hand as library associate/secretary at WHS; and accepted the resignation of Bob Lee as 7th grade football coach.
The Board approved a contract for Cory Stephens as 7th grade football coach; approved a contract for Maylissa Wells as special education associate at WHS replacing Peterson; approved a contract for Andrea Gebers as a para-professional at Roosevelt Elementary School; and approved Bruce Dagel as a volunteer varsity football coach.
In a special meeting July 22, the Board also approved a contract for Kathy Bork as an art instructor at WHS; and approved a contract for Donna Sennert as new Director of Technology.
Monday, the Board also approved hiking the substitute teaching pay from $90 per day to $100 per day for the 2011-2012 school year. Chalstrom said the action was necessary to keep the District competitive with area schools also drawing from the available substitute teaching pool.