The Eddyville-Blakesburg school board is taking steps to move forward with converting the old middle school building in Blakesburg into an elementary school.
This week the board approved plans for a roofing project on the east building in Blakesburg, sending out a request for bids. The project was previously estimated at around $160,000 and is expected to include new insulation, metal trim, fascia, gutters and down spouts.
Community member Terry Brady took issue with remodeling the building.
“I think the public deserves to see what the total cost of this project will be. Some will have sticker shock over the total cost for an old building. I don’t think you are going about this in accordance with the law,” he said.
Brady insisted that the board must hold a public hearing and approve the entire project to meet competitive bidding guidelines as set out in Iowa Code before dividing it into segments, then each segment should be subject to competitive bidding.
“We are familiar with the law,” countered Board member Ed Glenn. “We have consulted with our attorney and auditors; we can do this piecemeal, so we are good to go.”
Glenn, however, did ask Superintendent Dean Cook to discuss Brady’s concerns with the district’s attorney.
In another matter, Junior/Senior High School Principal Scott Williamson told the board that two new eighth-grade students have moved into the district and their parents have asked that they be enrolled in a high school level algebra class. Furthermore, several seventh-grade students will be ready for that level class next year. Previously, the board had indicated that junior and senior high classes should remain separate.
The board indicated that it would be acceptable to allow these students into the upper level class provided they have parent approval. Administrators will review the issue to develop an approval form and possibly a policy.
“I think we need to be really flexible,” said board member Dan Hulbert. “I sure don’t want to hold anyone back.”
In other business, the board was made aware that:
• Orientation for the new seventh-grade students is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday. That class size is currently 59 students.
• Meet the teacher night at both elementary schools has been set for 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
• Also for the upcoming school board election on Sept. 13, the polling place for sub-districts 1-5 will be at the Eddyville Elementary Attendance Center. In sub-districts 6-7, voters should report to Blakesburg City Hall. Hours at both locations will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Glenn said he was disappointed that there won’t be more polling places but conceded it is out of the school board’s hands.
Meanwhile, the proposal for reorganization of the Eddyville-Blakesburg and Fremont school districts will be on the Sept. 13 ballot as well.