The Milbank School District Board of Education held its regular meeting Monday, February 12. Superintendent Tim Graf reported the Wilmot School District inquired about forging an athletic cooperative with the Milbank School District. “I don’t know where they’re at in the process. This was not a formal request. They are interested in an all-sports co-op and want to know their options.” Wilmot is also considering an arrangement with the Waubay School District. Graf explained that, while Wilmot’s enrollment numbers appear to be holding steady, the number of students participating in sports is declining.
The board approved a bid from Jones Caulking and Tuckpointing of Sioux Falls for tuckpointing. Three bids were received, and Jones Caulking submitted the lowest bid at $157,890. The project includes tuckpointing the north side of the high school building, excluding the armory wall. It also includes the front of the building by the National Guard entrance to the armory.
The results of the mechanical and electrical report of Koch Elementary School were presented. The district contracted with Associated Consulting Engineering, Inc., of Sioux Falls to produce the report. The report mainly covered the mechanical and electrical systems in the building. The building was deemed structurally sound, but changes in educational processes have resulted in space issues – in particular, recommended classroom sizes have increased.
The mechanical review indicated the plumbing system which was installed in the original building in 1955 and the addition in 1965 will require replacement in the near future. An addition was also added to the school in 1998; the plumbing in that area does not require replacement. The plumbing upgrade estimate was $285,000, with up to an additional $100,000 needed for general construction to remove and replace concealed piping systems.
The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system was replaced during the construction of the 1998 addition. It was noted, compressor failures of the systems are becoming more frequent. The life of the heat pumps is estimated to be another 10 years, but frequency of failure will continue to increase according to the report. Replacing the heat pumps with similar units in the same location is estimated to cost $756,000. To move and replace the system is estimated at $1,386,000.
Adding a fire protection sprinkler system is estimated to cost $219,000. It is not required by law, but would reduce insurance costs and help to pay for itself.
The mechanical review summary indicated the building remains serviceable, but over time inefficiencies have developed. Remedies for issues such as multiple levels, stairs, and lighting systems would be $340,000. The report did not cover roofs, structural systems, elevators, or windows. Superintendent Graf stated his research suggests, “The roof at Koch needs to be addressed fairly soon. Although the roof is not leaking at the present time, it is reaching the end of its life.” Graf obtained a preliminary estimate on the cost to replace the roof at $280,000.
Board member Tracy Upton suggested the problems with the building are obvious. “I’m not in favor of putting $20,000 into a study for information we already know,” he said. Graf stated many issues could be addressed with a retrofit of the building, or the feasibility of a new structure could be considered. “We can get a price tag on both options,” he said. “We can then determine what our plan should be.”
In other business:
1.) Driver’s education fees were set for 2018. They remain the same as last year at $250 per student.
2.) Approval was given for the annual art trip to the Minneapolis Art Institute scheduled for April 20.
3.) Snow make-up dates for 2018-2019 were approved.
4.) An open enrollment application was approved for a first grade student from the Waverly District.
5.) Approval was given for the formation of a science club geared towards fourth through seventh-graders. Janelle Korstjens, Koch School teacher will serve as its adviser. Approximately 50 students have indicated interest in the club.
6.) The board moved to accept the resignation of Joyce Hora effective at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. Hora is a math and science instructor. She has been employed with the district since 2010.
Mr. Kris Evje, director of special services, stated the district’s child count was completed. The number of students receiving services rose from 140, in 2016-2017 to 154 for the 2017-18 school year. Evje explained this was less than a one percent increase.
Superintendent Graf commended Milbank’s lunch department for receiving a 100 percent rating during the recent school lunch health inspection. “The inspectors are there to find something wrong, so you know they are doing a good job,” he stated. “Kudos to them, they have earned the 100% rating for several years in a row.”
The next board meeting is Monday, March 12, at 6 p.m.