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Lanesboro School Board hears update on Lanesboro Arts Campus


By Mitchell Walbridge

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Government

As the Lanesboro Arts Campus expands, it looks to involve the community’s youth to make Lanesboro a welcoming community. Photo by Mitchell Walbridge

The Lanesboro School Board met on Tuesday, May 13 for a regular monthly meeting. All members were present for the meeting along with Superintendent Jeff Boggs and Courtney Bergey from the Lanesboro Arts Center also present.

Bergey addressed the school board on the overview and goals of the Lanesboro Arts Campus. The overall goal is to invest $1.1 million dollars in the community to make it a more attractive place to live, operate a business, and raise a family.

So far, the leaders of the Lanesboro Arts Campus initiative have identified a few projects that they would like to pursue. One idea includes enhancing the bass pond parking lot by improving the green space with trees and directional signage for the town. Another project would be to update the historic walking bridge green space by highlighting pedestrian walking paths that connect the parking lot and downtown. This area will be developed into a community gathering space/respite area with seating and natural plants.

The downtown area has also been looked at for improvements. Recent renovations of the St. Mane Theatre to improve functionality and accessibility is one of the downtown projects recently completed.

Bergey reported that all of the projects are on track to be completed by fall of 2014, but the Lanesboro Arts Campus was seeking the school district’s informal endorsement for their projects. Board member Dave Lawstuen asked where funding for the projects comes from. Bergey said that to date, the majority of the $800,000 collected has come from grants with some dollars coming from local support.

The board liked the Art Campus efforts and looks forward to possible collaboration with the school’s greenhouse, FFA and industrial tech programs.

Injury Prevention Policy

The district’s insurance company requested that the board make some minor changes to the district’s injury prevention policy. Superintendent Boggs said that coaching injuries have occured in the past and that the expenses that come with these can add up. A concern with this policy is also when teachers participate in activities such as teacher versus student athletic games or staff participation in things like the FFA Ag Olympics. The board wondered if these count as risk liabilities.

While these activities are fun, they do pose risk. Boggs said that the insurance provider and the Minnesota School Board Association do recommend that staff do not participate in these events because of the risk.

Boggs spoke to the the capabilities of staff, saying, “Coaches should be aware of knowing their limits when doing demonstrations in practices, and they should also know their ages.”

The board passed a motion to make the minor changes to the policy.

Special Recognition

The board passed motions to recognize the following:

•School play director Krissy Overland, and the cast and crew involved in making another outstanding production this year.

•The FFA members for their accomplishments at the state convention.

•Kristi Ruen and those involved with the horticulture greenhouse.

Property Report

The school board’s property committee consisting of Steve Snyder and Terri Scott recently did a walk-around of the exterior of the school’s property. A few minor jobs were placed on a list and turned into Superintendent Boggs. The committee would like to see as many items as possible on the list completed by the beginning of the new school year.

New Bus Purchase

Superintendent Boggs and transportation director Erik Overland requested from the board to look into purchasing a new bus. Currently, the district has nine buses and seven vans. Each year the district’s territory grows, making mileage on each bus rise significantly. Also, long-distance athletic events add miles. The bus the district would like to replace is from 2001.

The district tries to stagger the purchasing of buses every few years to offset the costs involved.

The board approved a motion to begin the search for a new school bus.

Personnel

•The board approved the non-renewal of Brianna Zabel’s contract due to the need to reduce an elementary position.

•The board approved the resignation of art instructor Krista Flaig. Flaig has been with the district for the past eight years. She accepted a fulltime position in the Pine Island School District.

•The board approved the resignation of preschool teacher Sonia McCabe. McCabe has been with the district for 29 years.

Audit Bid

The board approved a motion to accept the annual audit bid from Pam Ristau. The bid price went up $150 from last year.

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