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Land okay to build on for R-P school

Fri, Apr 25th, 2008
Posted in Education

RUSHFORD - The property that the Rushford-Peterson School District is in the process of buying has been given a thumbs up from a Chosen Valley soil analysis team.

The eleven acres, directly across the street from the property near the football field that is already owned by the district, was "determined to be an excellent building site based on the borings they (Chosen Valley) conducted," reported Superintendent Ehler to the board Monday, April 21.

In a motion articulated by Greg Smith to "accept the results that it's a buildable site," the board approved of the determinations by Chosen Valley.

A large portion of the land is on a foundation of "good, clean sand," according to the report, which goes on to recommend techniques such as adding fill to some areas.

Ehler also asked the board to authorize him to pursue a variance of the property from R2 to A1 so that he might seek a renter and bring in some income with the property. The board was hesitant.

Smith wondered if digging up the land was wise, given the sand beneath. Ehler assured him the land would be terrace-farmed. John Nitecki wondered about the effect on the nearby neighborhood in matters of noise and additional people working in the area. Dan Munson suggested that maybe some of the school staff would want to use parts of the property, for instance, science teachers.

After voicing their concerns, the board nevertheless gave Ehler the go ahead to ask for the variance with the understanding that he'd seek their approval before actually renting the land.

The land will be purchased from Richard and Holly Holle for a total price of $145,000. Ehler said the terms are 3.83% interest for a payment plan lasting seven years.

Ehler wrapped up the land discussion by adding that he planned to forward the Chosen Valley report to John Ryberg of the state's education department, requesting that, if the state approves, Ryberg put in writing that approval of the site as buildable for a future school. Without state approval of the site, the land deal will not happen, according to Ehler.

Free Lunch

R-P students can continue to receive hot lunch (and breakfast) throughout the summer this year thanks to a grant obtained by Joyce Miller. The district currently has 58% of its students who qualify for free or reduced lunch prices, which boosted eligibility for the grant.

There will be no break in food service when school ends. Breakfast will be served 7:30 - 9:00 and lunch 11:30 -1:00 each week day. The meals are free to any R-P students, 18 and under, regardless of income level.

Ehler mentioned the possibility of setting prices for adult meals too, but said he's mindful that the school ought not to compete with local restaurants.

Retirements and


Jackie Hoegh, long time first grade teacher, tendered her official retirement to the board. In addition Dan Munson is resigning as one-act play director to spend more time attending his own children's activities.

Similarly, varsity boys' assistant coach Terry Pelzl requested and received a two-year leave of absence from the boys' basketball program in order to be a parent at the basketball games of his daughter, who will be a junior next year.

The board also approved maternity leave for FACS teacher Erin Thompson next fall.

Ehler reported that so far, twenty-nine candidates have come forward seeking the job of high school principal vacated by the retiring Brad Johnson.

A committee made up of staff will begin sorting the applicants and Ehler hopes, perhaps ambitiously, to have a recommendation to the board at its next meeting, May 19.

Good Will

The board started its meeting with the usual congratulations to various student groups and their faculty advisors.

Ehler offered his congratulations to the speech team for "outstanding performances"; Spanish students for scoring so well on the National Spanish Exam; and small and large group winners in the music sub-section held recently at R-P.

The Generosity Report is still a feature of board meetings, as it has been since the Rushford community was devastated by the flood last August. Among other donations reported this month, the Fillmore Central student council donated $250 to R-P schools.

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