The Norfolk Public Schools board of education moved forward in implementing multiple district projects during its meeting on Monday.
The board approved a bid to complete HVAC projects at two schools and approved the action to seek proposals for paving projects at three schools.
“There’s a great plan for how we’re going to keep addressing that parking,” said board member Arnie Robinson. “Everyone shows up at school and there’s no place to park. There’s a lot of work that goes into making sure we have that (project) done.”
The paving projects, which will eliminate gravel lots, are set to take place at Norfolk Senior High School, Jefferson Elementary School and Washington Elementary School. Additional parking also will be added at 700 W. Maple Ave., a piece of property that was purchased next to the senior high a few months ago.
There are around 380 student parking spaces now for about 1,300 students at Norfolk Senior High, Associate Superintendent Bill Robinson said. The paving projects will add another 120 spaces. Washington Elementary will receive about 24 more parking spaces, and Jefferson will receive about 13.
CMBA Architects also was approved as the firm for services related to all projects included in the potential 2020 bond and to those related to the (QCPUF) Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, Series 2020.
The bonds were authorized during the meeting and will fund the removal of environmental hazards and accessibility barriers at six schools in the district, such as the elimination of gravel parking lots.
“As we are going down the process to this potential bond, these are the critical things we thought the public would want us to have done beforehand,” Bill Robinson said.
A potential bond issue in the amount of $24.8 million was proposed at the December board meeting. The bond is scheduled to be on the November 2020 ballot regarding additions to several district facilities.
The board of education also approved the bid from the contracting company, Rasmussen, for $1.1 million to complete the HVAC projects at the Norfolk Junior High School and Jefferson Elementary School. Several contractors attended the pre-bid meeting, but every company except Rasmussen backed out because they didn’t have sufficient crew and ability to complete the project, Bill Robinson said.
The bid came in within the projected budget and the projects should begin this summer, he said. The projects should be completed by next year.
Besides district renovations, the board approved a 3.32% package increase for classified district hourly and salary staff and district nurses. Members also approved several staff positions within the consent agenda:
— One junior high science teacher.
— One middle school special education teacher.
— One special education and reading teacher at Lincoln Montessori School.
— One junior high social studies teacher.
— One district special education behaviorist.
— Two district administrators, which were announced last week: Erik Wilson as the director of student services and safety and Angie Baumann as the director of human resources and accreditation.
Superintendent Dr. Jami Jo Thompson also announced that the board is closely monitoring two property tax relief and school finance bills in the Nebraska Legislature.
Thompson said Legislative Bill 974, introduced by state Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, would be detrimental to Norfolk Public Schools’ funding.
"LB974 moves valuations down in an attempt to relieve some of the property tax burden and then tries to make up for that with foundation aid,” Thompson said. “Foundation aid won’t make up the amount lost through the decreased valuations, it will cause districts to have to go back to their taxpayers with increased levies."
The board also is watching Legislative Bill 1073, but Thompson said the bill is less damaging to equalized schools like NPS. The board is taking a neutral stance on the legislation.
Story originally posted Feb. 11 at 8:34 p.m.
The Norfolk Public Schools Board of Education met for its monthly meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Norfolk Public Schools Central Administration Office.
The meeting lasted 63 minutes, and it was preceded by a 45-minute study session.
Board members present: Sandy Wolfe, Tammy Day, Patti Gubbels, Bruce Mitchell, Robert Waite and Arnie Robinson.
Others in attendance: One from the media and about 25 members of the public for Norfolk Middle School’s presentation of “Rhythm Buckets.”
ITEMS OF INTEREST
— Board members approved district staff hourly and salary package increases of 3.32%.
— Four teachers, one district behaviorist and two administrators had contracts that were approved in the consent agenda.
— Administrators discussed the district renovation projects and approved an architectural firm for the potential 2020 district bond.
— Approved the 2020-21 salary structure for classified staff (hourly and salary).
— Approved the 2020-21 salary structure and employment agreement for nurses.
— Approved the first reading of board policies 4013-4029 related to personnel.
— Approved the second and final reading of board policies 4001-4012 related to personnel.
— Authorized the issuance of not to exceed $8,350,000 of (QCPUF) Limited Tax General Obligation and Refunding Bonds, Series 2020. These funds will be used for removal of actual or potential environmental hazards and accessibility barriers, and correction of life safety code and life safety hazards, as well as refinance the district's existing Series 2012 and Series 2014 (QCPUF) Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds to achieve interest cost savings.
— Approved CMBA Architectural firm for services related to all projects included in the potential 2020 bond and to those related to the (QCPUF) Limited Tax General Obligation Bonds, Series 2020, listed above.
— Approved the bid from Rasmussen for $1,119,796 to complete the HVAC projects at the junior high and Jefferson Elementary School.
— Approved the action to grant permission to seek RFPs for paving projects at the senior high and Jefferson and Washington Elementary schools.
FUTURE MEETINGS: The second monthly meeting of the board of education has been tentatively scheduled for noon on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. The next regular meeting will be Monday, March 9. The study session will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the business meeting at 6:30 p.m.