An issue with drainage at the construction site of the West Elementary addition created some lengthy discussion for the Emmetsburg Community School Board during the July meeting on Wednesday, July 16. The board also handled several routine items prior to the start of upcoming school year during the session.
Superintendent Gary Richardson, in his first full meeting with the board, began the discussion on the drainage issue at West. According to Richardson, he, along with District Maintenance Director Tom Griffin, had met with the contractor for the building project to discuss a recent event where heavy rainfalls back in June had caused water to run into the newly constructed gymnasium, due to problems with elevations of the building site to the east side of the structure.
Richardson reported that after visiting with representatives of Kolacia Construction, the prime contractor for the project, a proposal to carry out some additional grading on the east side of the new gym had been formulated to attempt to alleviate water runoff problems.
"I am bringing before you a proposed change order in the amount of $9,420.06 for Reding's to correct the drainage flow into the correct direction away from the building," Richardson told the board. "Knowing that something needs to be done out their quickly, I am ready to make that call and tell Reding's to go ahead, but if you do not agree, we can cancel it."
Board President BJ Schany asked, "Just what is it we would be doing?"
"There is a six-inch tile there for the playground, and we are going to tie into it, basically to store the runoff until it can drain naturally to the storm sewers," Richardson said. "And, we will add some more pea-rock to the playground to hold a bit more water so it won't flood out the neighbors."
"I recall we met with the engineer when this was starting and told him where the water flowed to," Board member Scott Kibbie said. "He should have addressed this problem then in the plans."
"I agree," Board member Kathy Roethler added.
"So will this grading work and extra tile help?" Kibbie asked.
"If it doesn't, we'll have water in that new gym," Tom Griffin replied. "But, it will help. The city has a 15-inch main in the area now, and down the road, they are looking at enlarging it, but not in the near future."
"If they did that, could we drain into that?" Schany asked.
"I think we could, I don't know for sure," Griffin answered. "See, the city wants more retention of the water so what they have will carry if off and we want less retention so it goes away faster."
Griffin and Richardson explained that the grading plan would have a small berm of earth constructed to divert surface water to the east, away from the delivery entrance to the structure.
"So are Kolacia's fearing that's where the water will go in the building?" Schany asked.
"No, that's my fear," Griffin replied. "This plan isn't foolproof, but its' better than what we have now."
"It's pretty obvious to me we have to do something as soon as possible," Kibbie said, "but I'm very disappointed that we have to spend more money for something we discussed at the very beginning of all this work."
"You do have a year after work is done for a guarantee," Richardson reminded the board. "If it doesn't work, they have to come back and fix it. After that, I think you could challenge it."
"I think this is something that will help," Griffin said. "If we don't, I think we'll wish we had."
"This appears to solve the immediate issue," Board member Rick Brennan observed, "but I feel like Scott, it still needs to be addressed with the engineer and the architect."
With no further comments, the board approved the recommendation for the $9,920.06 change order for Reding Excavation on a unanimous 7-0 vote.
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Bill Geelan as the Seventh grade basketball coach in order for Geelan to take the Head Varsity Boys Basketball coaching position for 2014-15.
The board also approved the recommendations of District Food Service Director Deb Goeders for bread and milk products for the coming school year. The lone bid for bakery products from Bimbo Bakeries USA of Dubuque was approved unanimously, as was the bid from Anderson-Erickson Dairy of Des Moines for the district's milk products.
The board also welcomed new High School Principal Mike Embrock to the meeting, as he told the members a bit about his family. Embrock and his wife have three children, a son who will be a senior and will complete that year at North Iowa High School. A son who will be a freshman and a daughter, who will be in sixth grade, will attend classes in Emmetsburg this coming school year.
"I'm very happy to be in town here," Embrock told the board.