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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Coleman Board Okays Up To $14,298,000 For Renovations

Issue Date: November 21, 2018

After considerable discussion at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 12, Coleman School Board agreed by five to one vote to allow spending of $468,000 of savings in the District's Fund 46 Capital Improvement savings account to cover the cost of some of the renovation projects that bring the total estimated base price to $14,298,000. The referendum last spring authorized the board to borrow up to $13,830,000 to finance the facility improvements.

The board approved Sherwin Williams "Cilantro" as the shade of green to be used as the shade of green to be used as the accent paint color in the renovation process.

District Administrator Doug Polomis stressed that Fund 46 monies can only be used for capital improvement projects, and the savings account was started five years to pay for roof replacement should the referendum attempt prove unsuccessful.

Jamie Graetz cast the sole opposing vote, and Joanne Nowak was absent. Board members voting in favor were Jeremy Hoida, Scott Herzog, Barb Krause-Klug, Corey Kuchta and Board President Ryan Wendt. A major concern of Graetz was that in approving the referendum voters had authorized the board to spend up to the $13,830,000 limit and now they would be exceeding that. He also felt they needed to keep some capital improvement funds in reserve in case of a disaster, for example if a boiler would explode.

Polomis said they have more than $500,000 in their fund balance which could pay for emergency repairs if necessary, and added, "Now we have a chance to do the school right." He was sure they could get some of the work done cheaper if they do it while workers are already in the building for other parts of the project.

"Let's do it right now and get the most for our money," Kuchta urged.

Polomis quoted from a seminar he had attended that the project gives them a chance to shape not only the school but the entire community.

Hoida did not want to use the entire $590,000 in Fund 46, but felt they could safely use part of it.

The motion approved by the board authorized using up to $468,000 from that fund.

Hoida noted the district has been in good financial shape for the last several years and had been able to add $100,000 a year to the Capital Improvement account.

Wendt agreed, but said had the referendum borrowing and the levy to pay it off not been approved they would have needed to save for another five years just to replace the roof.

"The $13.8 million is what the citizens approved," Wendt commented, "...but if it doesn't rase my taxes, I'm okay with it."

Before the vote, Herzog asked if the money in Fund 46 could be used for other projects, for example the proposed building at the ball field, and the answer was that it could.

The base projects with the $14,298,000 tentative price tag include renovations of early childhood and pre-K classrooms, elementary classroom medium renovations, restrooms in kindergarten rooms, flooring moisture mitigation in the elementary school, upgrades of the High School Special Ed classroom, FACE and kitchen station renovations, and improvements to the Middle School science area.

Proposed Middle School tiered seating renovation has been eliminated from the base project budget.

Possible additional bid alternates if bids come in low enough are High School improvements estimated at $201,225, for library upgrades including flooring and painting, replacing existing doors and hardware not currently listed for replacement, Spanish classroom upgrades including flooring and paint, Triton classroom improvements including flooring and paint, repainting existing walls and ceiling in the gymnasium, and washing of exterior brick.

The alternate list includes replacing existing tile in the main link corridor with rubber flooring at a cost of $33,479.

Additional work at the Elementary School could include a total of $91,696 for office upgrades in the corner area including flooring and paint, painting library walls, art classroom upgrades including flooring and paint, replacing existing casework in the staff lounge, and replacing existing doors not otherwise scheduled.

During time for public comment near the start of the meeting Dennis Fiedorowicz told the board to stay within the $13.8 million authorized by the referendum.

He objected to proposals to move district offices again, and said to fix the problem with steps they just needed to put in modesty panels. He objected to a proposal for classroom doors with sidelight panels, and urged the board not to replace the existing terrazzo floors. He said the cafeteria doesn't need changing, it's a scheduling problem. he was glad to see that folding partitions are no longer part of the elementary classroom plans.

"I don't wan t you going into Fund 46," he repeated. "You have a federal government that's against public education...Wisconsin is 29th in the nation in pay for its teachers and they could walk out any day!"

Wendt suggested Fiedorowicz should have called him to discuss his concerns, and commented, "If people really want change they call their public officials and talk about it!" he said many of the concerns raised by Fiedorowicz have already been taken care of, For example the doors with sidelights is not going to happen. As to moving the offices, after looking at the price tag the board decided that is not going to happen either. As to the addition to the cafeteria, that has already been decided and was promised in the pre-referendum discussions.

The Cougar Clothing Sale has begun and orders must be in by Tuesday, Nov. 27 to insure delivery before Christmas.

Polomis reported that Mr. Brady would be accompanying high school students to the Mini-Business World at UW-Marinette on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Juniors will be taking their practice ACT tests on Thursday, Nov. 29. The next TRITON meeting is to be held on Tuesday Dec. 4 at Coleman.

Polomis thanked Mrs. Wagner and students who helped organize the Veterans Day events and gave a special thanks to Coleman Pound Lions Club for providing meals for the veterans and a guest at local restaurants that day. He thanked Kaily Klimek, who honored her grandfather, Kray Gannigan, a Vietnam vet, and Corrine Liptak, who honored her great grandfather, Leo Seefeldt, who is a World War II vet.

Action items at the meeting included hiring Julie Patefield as a Third Grade aide, approving Jason Maye as a volunteer wrestling coach, and accepting the resignation of Tammy Messenger as a K-2 Special Education Aide effective Tuesday, Nov. 27. In her resignation letter Messenger said it has been a pleasure to work for the school over the past 10 years.

Other board actions included approving the school emergency response plan, accepting the final kitchen design contract, approving the Middle School/High School handbook for the 2019-2020 school year to allow students to eliminate the grade from one advanced placement class from their GPA average calculations each term if they so choose. There had been considerable discussion at the previous board meeting on the fact that the effect on their GPA and eligibility for scholarships and other awards may discourage students from taking the more difficult advanced placement classes.

The board gladly accepted a $700 donation from the Cougar Booster Club to the Coleman Wrestling team for Rock Solid Functional Strength Training.

The District Spotlight portion of the meeting featured a report by High School Student Council Advisor Amy Wagner, along with Student Council president Maria Nowak (granddaughter of board member Joanne Nowak), and vice president Maddy Wagner, daughter of Amy Wagner. They spoke of activities that started during the summer, and have kept going, including plans for the Red Cross Blood drive, the Holiday Giving Tree for needy seniors in nursing homes, and reindeer games for the school student body before the Christmas holidays.

Agenda for the next board meeting is expected to include authorization for the District Administrator and the Board president to sign low-cost change orders for the school renovation project and then report at the next board meeting, consideration fo some policy changes, and adoption of the school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year,


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