One of three sizeable and costly repair projects currently confronting the Cherokee School District will be under way next week following Christmas.
The repair projects that will be funded from the District's PPEL revenues are a new roof for the Roosevelt Elementary School's third and fourth grade wing, renovation of the field turf and watering system at George Hicks Field at Washington High School, and repairing or even possibly relocating the deteriorating School/City tennis court complex on East Indian Street.
Costs for those projects would be paid for from the District's Physical Plant and Equipment Levy funds for the 2012-2013 school year. The RES roof is top priority, George Hicks Field renovation is set for Spring 2013, and the tennis courts project is still being explored in partnership with the City.
Cherokee Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom reported to the District Board of Education that the Roosevelt Elementary roof was top priority after being severely damaged in late October when high winds and driving rains struck the area on the heels of a blistering spring and summer heat wave that baked much of the Midwest.
Last month, Chalstrom said the roof repair job is estimated at $90,000 and it was then decided that the roof needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
Dave Moore, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds for the District, advised the School Board Monday night that the roofing materials were to be delivered this week and the project started next week.
The project's materials and equipment will utilize the west parking lot at Roosevelt Elementary and RES Principal Barb Radke told the Board that contingency plans and proper signage have been formulated with Transportation Director Mike Wiederholt to accommodate the buses, staff parking, and parents dropping off and picking up their children in the large front parking lot and drive-through on the building's north side.
In other business Monday, Chalstrom advised the Board that the District's Management Team had met to discuss and strategize after the horrific school shooting in Connecticut last week.
"We have safe, prepared schools and still tragedies like this happen," said Chalstrom, who explained that the District's Crisis Response Plan was being reviewed and the District would explore heightening surveillance measures, including possible buzzer entries that would require a school official to allow any and all to enter the District school buildings. Chalstrom said the Sioux City and Storm Lake Districts, among others, already have such buzzer systems in place.
The doors at all buildings - Washington High School, Cherokee Middle School, Early Childhood Learning Center, and Roosevelt Elementary are always "locked down" all day, with the exception of one door at each building, which is monitored by staff.
In other action, the Board accepted the resignation of Julie Mortenson as bus driver/mail courier, and accepted the resignation of Kate Leavitt as freshman volleyball coach, pending finding a suitable replacement.
The Board also approved contracts for Jen Nixon as varsity softball coach, and Rick Stines as a custodian at WHS.
The Board also certified the results of the Dec. 4 District Revenue Purpose Statement (State Penny Sales Tax) special election. The measure passed in a 147-14 vote, representing just 3.29 percent of the eligible District voters.