NEW BREMEN – Thanks to a little overtime, the Board of Education heard that the new New Bremen elementary school will be ready for occupancy in time for the next school year. Also, as funds come available, the board approved a number of additional building improvements at their meeting Wednesday night.
Superintendent Jason Schrader reported the $20 million elementary will be ready for occupancy Aug. 18, 2020. Torrential rains earlier this year had delayed the completion date until Sept. 4, but an agreement to pay overtime for construction workers has resulted in the catch-up needed to make up the 12 days.
Earlier in the year, the board had approved a plan to pay up to $56,000 to pay construction workers overtime. Schrader reported the total cost to the district only came to $15,000 with the contractor paying the first month.
The exact start time for the 2020-21 school year has yet to be determine. In preparation, there will be a public hearing on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.
As the project winds down and the actual cost of the construction comes clear, the Board also approved $374,735.50 of desired building improvements.
They include resurfacing of the north parking lot at a cost of $97,034.59, installing ceramic wall tile in corridor for $58,702.42, as well as ceramic wall tile in restrooms for $24,611.00. Raised presentation platforms at a cost of $2,094.20 will go into the alternative learning areas. The halls of the building will have rubber coverings rather than carpet for $28,982.63.
Parking lot lights will be changed to LED for $49,946.58. A $10,994.53 gym divider curtain will allow the use of the stage as a classroom. A $36,857.86 acoustical overhead door $36,857.86 will be added. Site plantings will be added for $41,883.93. Pedestrian pavement for children coming from homes to the south will be added for $13,889.76. Finally, parking lot post & panel signs will be added for $9,738.01.
In other news, the board recognized Nate Niekamp as Athletic Volunteer for the 2019-2020 school year. He volunteers as coach the school Barracudas diving team. The board also congratulated the New Bremen FFA for earning a 3-Star rating at the national convention. Also, Johanna Frankenberg received a Dairy Replacement Proficiency award. Frankenberg is a New Knoxville student attending the FFA in New Bremen.
Elementary Principal Diane Kramer reported the new elementary building became a learning opportunity for the Junior Builders program on October 25th. She said students toured the building site and learned how to read blue prints. The third grade Ohio Reading
She said results for the Ohio Reading Achievement Assessment, administered online to all third-grade students on Oct. 22-23, will be available in mid-December.
Also, students in grades 2 and 4 were administered the Iowa Achievement Test and the CogAT Cognitive Ability Test over the past couple of weeks. These assessments are administered online and used for gifted identification as well as determining student interventions.
Upcoming events include:
• Nov. 26, Kindergarten Grandparents Day – 1:30 p.m.
• Dec. 2-5, Santa Shop sponsored by Cardinal Pride – Grades K-5
• Dec. 12, Second-grade Christmas Musical – “A Holiday Road Trip” – 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
• Dec. 16, Middle School Christmas Band Concert – 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Junior/high school principal Marcus Overman shared honor roll numbers for the first quarter. High Honor Roll went to 5 middle school and 28 high school students, Honor Roll had 54 middle school and 100 high school students. Merit Roll designation went to 25 middle school and 58 high school students.
Overman also said he is working with Tri-Star and the CBI program to improve the process for students to complete the OhioMeansJobs Job Readiness Seal. He said this creates a process for students to use that provides the documentation needed by the school as well as access for potential employers.
In matters of school safety, the principal said that in October a lockdown drill was done on the 25th with drug dogs brought through the building and parking lot. An active shooter drill was held on October 29th. Overman said the police chief spoke to students after the drill.
The Board also heard that health insurance premium costs are increasing 12% for the PPO plan and the HSA plans. The only unchanged cost was for the dental plan.
In lieu of transportation, the board approved payment to Laura Gerlach of $1,450 to transport two children to Holy Rosary Catholic School upon the completion of the school year.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.