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School Board Discusses

By Staff | Dec 27, 2007

ejecting a bid for the purchase of a portion of the Middle School Property in November, the Emmetsburg School Board was advised of another offer on a part of the property during its December meeting. The board also approved an Open Campus program for seniors at the high school during the session held on Monday, Dec. 17.

Superintendent John Joynt informed the board that a new offer of $170,000 had been made verbally to the district’s realtor, the Farmers’ National Company and local agent Mike Wentzel. Once again, the offer was made by Casey’s Marketing Company of Ankeny, for the same four parcels of land directly north of the Middle School building to Main Street. Originally, Casey’s Marketing had submitted an offer of $105,000 in November for the four parcels, each measuring 66 feet by 132 feet, located directly east and south of the existing Casey’s location.

While the amount of the offer matched a figure originally proposed by the district for the sale of the entire parcel including the Middle School building, parking lot and lot to the south of building, there is still a sticking point for the board.

“Again, this offer is just for the property north of the building,” Joynt explained. “But, this is a verbal offer only, and you cannot act until you receive an offer in writing, which is in the process.”

“I’d like to know just how close that would come to the Middle School building,” Board member Don Hagen asked. “And, we’ve been told at one point that it would cost $100,000 to tear the middle school building down, and that there were $100,000 worth of salvageable materials in the building, We’ve also been told there is an individual who is working on getting financing to buy the building. Perhaps if we were able to give that individual some more time, they might be able to get their financing all lined up.”

“I’m concerned that if we force the issue and force someone like Casey’s to take the building, we could end up with an eyesore, and we did say that we wouldn’t let the building become an eyesore,” noted Board President Karla Anderson.

The discussion continued, with questions resurfacing about the exact placement of the lot lines in relation to the building, zoning of the property and potential costs for demolition of the building. Joynt reminded the board that if they would decide to sell the northern parcels, the board had agreed earlier to heat the Middle School for two years after it was closed, and after that point in time, the building would be demolished.

Joynt was instructed to find out the zoning, placement of property lines and potential demolition costs and report back to the board in its January meeting. Joynt indicated he also expected a written offer for the property to go with the verbal offer at the January meeting.

In other items of business, the board was presented with a request for Open Campus privileges for the senior class. Jessie Wolfe and Tori Heldt appeared to explain the proposal to the board. Under the proposal, seniors would be allowed to leave the building during study halls in first or eighth periods and during times on days opposite of college classes. Additionally, seniors must maintain a grade point of 2.0 or higher.

Seniors who would receive any referral to the office or detention from an instructor would lose their privileges for the remainder of the school year. Also, unexcused absences or tardiness would also cause forfeiture of the privilege.

“Our class has demonstrated academic success through our grades and ITED scores,” Wolfe noted, “and we have demonstrated our responsibility by self-policing the senior lounge, as well as showing our character by the low number of detentions and office referrals we have received.”

High School Principal Jay Jurrens also spoke, acknowledging the seniors’ accomplishments and indicated that he felt the class had come up with very workable parameters for their proposal.

“Can you live by these rules?” asked Board member Dave VanOosbree.

“Yes we can,” Heldt replied.

“And this is open to all seniors, not just those taking college classes, correct?” asked Anderson.

Again, the answer was affirmative.

“You sound pretty impressed with your class,” Hagen observed. “Are you tying this to the Good Conduct Policy?”

“I personally feel that an individual should be responsible for their own actions and not the whole class,” Wolfe answered. “I think we’ve seen that play out.”

“I can live with this proposal,” Jurrens reiterated. “Basically, its all about being responsible and remembering that Open Campus is a privilege and not a right.”

On a motion by Hagen, the board granted approval to the request on a unanimous vote.

Athletic Director Jerry Strand updated the board on the weight room supervisor project. According to Strand, Mike Dunlap, the supervisor, is being assisted by Mike Lester in the mornings and Joe Carter, John Kennedy and Mike Brennan in the afternoon hours.

“Currently, Mr. Dunlap is working with Taylor Strube, who is a grad assistant strength coach at the University of Texas-El Paso, to create a video that will explain and demonstrate various exercises,” Strand said. “This video will be available to the coaching staff and will be shown to our Middle School and High School students. And, Mrs. Schany’s Digital class will be doing the editing and adding text to the video for us.”

The board also addressed a couple of personnel issues, including Doug Cottington’s resignation as Middle School Boys Track Coach. Cottington’s resignation was accepted with regrets and the sincere thanks of the board for his many years of service to the students and school district.

Additionally, a contract was issued to Rhonda Weisbrod to serve as girls basketball chaperone.

“As you recall, last month you issued this contract to Molly Rodemeyer,” explained Joynt, “but that was an error due to a miscommunication and misunderstanding. So, what we would ask is that you rescind that offer and offer to Rhonda Weisbrod. I’ve spoken with Molly Rodemeyer and she is OK with this.”

In a final matter, the board approved an early graduation request at the semester for Tyle Olson. The request was approved on a unanimous vote.