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Coleman School Renovation Bids Approved, Work Starts

Issue Date: April 11, 2019

Work is underway on renovation and upgrades of the elementary wing of the Coleman School building authorized by the voters in a $13 million referendum in April of 2018. Construction began with moving in of contractor trailers on Monday, April 1 and building of a temporary wall for the construction zone on Monday, April 8.

District Administrator Doug Polomis said demolition work will start on Monday, April 15 and the target date for completion is September 1 of this year. Work on the high school wing will be done in 2020, though a small part may be done this summer in conjunction with elementary school projects.

With the regular school board meeting room near the elementary entrance taken over for other purposes during the renovation work, school board meetings are being held in the library of the high school wing.

At a special 5:30 p.m. meeting on Monday, April 1 the board approved hiring of Matthew Markiewicz as Director of Building and Grounds. He replaces Wayne Gross, who retired effective April 1 after serving in that position for 22 years.

Polomis told the board that in the three weeks since bids came in over budget on March 5 he and others from the district had been woking collaboratively with officials from Miron and Bray to get within budget. He, Gross and Dan Perry met with the electrical, HVAC, kitchen and plumbing contractors to reduce scope of the project.

On Monday, March 25, Polomis, Wendt and other district officials had met for three and a half hours with Miron and Bray (construction and design contractors respectively) people to make adjustments.

"At this time the project is in line with the overall budget," Polomis said.

He then turned the meeting over to Nathan Schleve of Bray to give an overview of the major revisions being made to bring costs down. Among them are relocating the Fab Lab and reconfiguring the elementary cafeteria, as well as revisions to the elementary/middle school office.

Todd Sabourin of Miron Construction, explaining why bids came in over the original budget, said plumbing and electrical work were the main sources of the cost increase due to unforeseen issues on the initial walk through.

Polomis stated that throughout the entire process student learning has been the top priority and that has not changed.

Later in the meeting the board, with all members present, unanimously approved awarding of the referendum bids as recommended.

The evening had started with 5 and 5:15 p.m. meetings of the Personnel Committee and the Policies Committee.

The Personnel Committee exchanged a proposal with Coleman Education Association (CEA) which offered a zero percent increase in base wages for the coming school year and discussed their total compensation package. Sarah Thomas, CEA president, was to bring the proposal to CEA for approval and then would come back to the board. Approval of the agreement is on the agenda for the board's regular meeting on Monday, April 15.

Polomis noted the Policies Committee had discussed some minor changes made to proposed policies after board input following the first reading and distributed copies showing options the board had selected. One is that the board, not the administrator, has authority to terminate "at will" employees. Later in the meeting the full board approved the policies as revised without dissent.

A Fifth Grade overnight trip to Camp U-Nah-Li-Ya on Feb. 13 and 14 of 2020 was approved without dissent, as was the High School Band/Choral trip to Nashville and Orlando on March 8 through 13 of 2020.

In other business the board approved resignation of Julie Patefield as Third Grade Aide, approved Joshua Pillath as a volunteer track coach, and approved Youth Options applications as presented.

In her letter of resignation Patefield said her last day would be Friday, March 29, as she had received an offer for a position with opportunity to work more hours and earn more money "I love this school. I am thankful for the opportunity to wok with Mrs. Wyss and Mr. G," she wrote, adding, "I just have to mention their dedication to these kids. They are willing to do whatever it takes!" She said with her new position she will have some opportunity to be teacher's aide sub, and invited the district to contact her.

At the board meeting on Monday, April 15, board members elected on Tuesday, April 2 are to be sworn in for new three year terms. They are Ryan Wendt and Jeremy Hoida, both returning to office, and newly elected Barbara Van Drisse, who is returning to the board after being off for a term.

In addition to regular business, agenda for that meeting includes reports by Elementary/Middle School Principal Mrs. Yvette Marshall and Polomis as both Superintendent and High School Principal. There is to be an update on referendum work and discussion of health insurance rates for 2019-2020. Action items include approval of Kyle Markiewicz (newly hired director of Building and Grounds), as a Volunteer Baseball Coach; approval of the Coleman Education Association compensation agreement, certified staff pay scale, funding of certified staff compensation, Middle School and High School Choirs trip to Six Flags for Judging and Clinic on May 17, board meeting dates for 2019-2020, designation of Peshtigo Times as the official district newspaper for 2019-2020, plus approval of donations, hirings and resignations.

Marshall's report is expected to include an update on summer school registration, Severe Weather Awareness Week, Spring Music Concerts, Forward Exam, Literacy Action Plan, Earth Day Clean Up and PTO.

Polomis' report is slated to touch on the Blood Drive, ACP Day, State FLBA, Tornado Drill, Mike Knetzger as guest speaker, Spring Summit, State Forensics, Administrative Assistants Day, Prom, Spring Concerts, State Solo & Ensemble, Academic Bowl and ACP Day, and as superintendent he is expected to discuss TRITON, the School Safety Evacuation Drill and Staff Appreciation Week.


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