410 board OKs building reconfiguration

The USD 410 Board of Education approved Monday evening the reconfiguration of the middle and high schools into one building for grades six to 12 to be called Hillsboro Middle/High School.

The decision was made in response to declining enrollment in the district.

Superintendent Steve Noble said the change would become effective in late June to early July and will only affect administrative and secretarial duties, which will reduce expenditures.

Additional benefits include less paperwork to file, he said, plus some cost saving for software purchases.

Noble said his plan is to keep the district?s middle school philosophy intact, including recognitions, performances, assemblies and other activities for sixth to eighth grades.

Ashlee Gann, director for Families and Communities Together Inc., gave her annual report to the board. It included an update on funding sources and oversight of area committees, as well as allocation of grant money to various projects aimed at promoting safe, health communities for children and families of Marion County.

?FACT is growing,? Gann said, evidenced by an increase in distribution of funds over the past three years.

Max Heinrichs, HHS principal, delivered the annual Stadium Operations Committee report regarding expenditures and upkeep of the Joel H. Wiens Stadium jointly owned by USD 410 and Tabor College.

He reviewed the condition of the field and several seam repairs needed. Equipment is needed to rake and aerate the crumb rubber on the field.

?The goal is rake it and keep (the field) as soft was we possibly can,? Heinrichs said, adding that the equipment needed would void the current eight-year warranty, which is in the fifth year.

Consequently, he said, plans are to purchase the equipment after the warranty has expired.

?I believe it?s a good partnership (with USD 410 and Tabor),? Heinrichs said. ?We have a great facility.?

In other business, the board:

? approved purchase of a 65-passenger Blue Bird bus for $87,762 from Kansas Truck Equipment Co. of Wichita.

?The cost is slightly under what was budgeted,? Noble said.

? approved removal of a row of trees to prepare for the school farm program at a cost of $6,350, pending approval from the city for the farm. Some city ordinances need to be changed, Noble said, which involves approval by the city?s Planning Commission and then the council.

He said City Administrator Larry Pine anticipated that taking about 45 days.

Noble said he anticipates this project as the only money that will be spent out of the district?s budget. Other funds will be raised through grants and contributions.

? met in executive session for an hour and then approved resignation of Clara Frick as midday bus driver, effective immediately, and work agreements for Robert Haude II as bus driver and Priscilla Sibayan as Parents as Teachers educator.

The board also approved a contract for Noble, effective July 1 through June 30, 2016.

? heard Noble report on plans to update Hillsboro Elementary School playground area to enhance drainage and surfacing.

? heard from board member Mark Rooker that the annual TEEN Mashup will be Jan. 20 in Marion.

? met in executive session for matters of negotiation. No action was taken in public session.

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