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R-P halts unnecessary spending


Fri, Mar 25th, 2011
Posted in Education

With the end of yet another school year closing in, Superintendent Chuck Ehler suggested the school board place a moratorium on any non-additional spending for the remainder of the fiscal year. State aid cuts are still hovering and the district hopes to spare itself as much of a cushion as possible, without sacrificing quality programs and events already in place.

In other news, the district has nearly completed the registration process for the 2011-2012 school year. A notable change to the endeavor was the removal of the "pre" registration phase, which caused issues in the spring of 2010, as students, parents, and staff found classes cut due to lack of interest. At the time, many believed there was a lack of communication and understanding to the process. This year, things are much more clear cut.

"The next step is to finalize classes and class size and put it together to hopefully accommodate for all the results," said high school Principal Shane McBroom. "However, they've been told up front that we can't make a schedule that accommodates everyone."

"How has the feedback this year been?" asked board member John Nitecki.

"There's been no problem," responded Ehler. McBroom also felt it was going smoothly. It was noted that this year's registration had been conducted online, resulting in quickly calculated results.

Structural engineer Al Hiniker, of the Structural Design Group, is seeing things far less smoothly, at least in regards to the 1906 portion of the high school facility. A previous visual examination of the building had highlighted some problems such as structural movement. Ehler has indicated that the movement is due to the location of the building, namely shifting soil beneath the foundation. While the district is adamant that there is no imminent structural danger, the board believes it would be prudent to proceed with a more detailed examination of the facilty.

"We need to spend this money to put everyone's mind at ease to ensure the building is not a threat to students, staff, or anyone else," urged Ehler. "It's pretty phenomenal what this building is built on."

Hiniker's examination would consist partly of cutting through a portion of plaster and lath in the third floor art room to get a more accurate depiction of the movement and potential issues. The cost of the examination is estimated at $2,500.

Congratulations to:

• Emily Frick for her first place finish at the Three Rivers Conference Speech competition. Frick moves on to Sub-Section competition, April 2nd in Stewartville.

• LARP Wresting for earning a fold academic award for a cumulative team GPA of more than 3.71. Participating at state were Justin Doerr, Jordan Theede, and Alex Hoff.

• Tom Vix, R-P Boys Basketball coach, for his 500th win as team coach.

The next regularly scheduled school board meeting is Monday, April 18th, at 6:00 pm, in the high school biology room. The public is encouraged to attend.

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