Tuesday, June 19, 2018
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School board gives thumbs up to replace heating, cooling system

Community Building gym HVAC will be upgraded.

School officials are tired of paying for service calls and cannibalizing parts to keep a gymnasium heating, ventilation and air conditioning system functioning.

As a result, the District 20 school board Monday night authorized officials to prepare for and solicit bids for the replacement of the HVAC unit in the Community Building gym.

Superintendent Dr. Mike Teahon said the current unit was installed 45 years ago.

Life expectancy of the unit and a steam boiler in the high school and hot water boiler burner in the elementary was stated to be about 20 years, Teahon said.

Extra HVAC capacity was included in the design of the 2003 high school building to allow for replacement of the gym units and elementary roof top units, he noted.

After preliminary talks with DLR Group of Lincoln, maintenance director Jay Holmes said they’re also considering a heat pump for the elementary.

Teahon added that service calls last summer to keep the gym’s HVAC system going totalled $12,000.

Estimates of the cost of the project are not available yet, Teahon said.

On another matter, the board discussed the district’s policy about bullying as required by law.

In a nutshell, junior high principal and data coordinator Ryan Groene said the policy is intended to provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff.

At Dudley Elementary, Groene said students discuss bullying and the difference between reporting and tattling with teachers and counselors.

“We’re not a perfect school and we do have bullying,” Groene said.

Complaints are investigated school wide, he said, and measures taken such as detention and suspension if needed.

When bullying issues arise, high school principal Randy Evans said a big solution is communicating with students.

In other business, the board:

passed a resolution to participate in a CJump interlocal agreement with 25 other schools to get a more favorable bid price on natural gas.

approved a resolution allowing the City of Gothenburg to apply for a Safe Routes to School grant. If awarded, the grant would be at least $500,000 to replace sidewalks and other safety measures.

Parents were surveyed about students safety with a high number of responses returned.

recognized the Gothenburg Education Association as the bargaining agent for certificated teaching staff in 2015-16.

learned that 49% of the student body is participating in winter activities—40 in speech, 37 in boys basketball, 28 in girls basketball, 23 in wrestling and 15 in cheerleading.

heard that high school detentions so far this school year are higher—201 compared to 116 last year but tardies are lower with 117 compared to 142. Groene said there are more repeat offenders this year which may help explain the higher number of detentions.

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