Board member Lynnette Duerksen asked how the bleachers are folded up for practices. Grout demonstrated the easy-to-use apparatus. The administration commented how much easier it will be for custodians and coaches to move the bleachers between games and practices.
Safety was mentioned as well. It was noted that the old bleachers were a safety hazard, with the possibility of someone falling through the gaps or falling on the steps. However, there are no gaps in the new bleachers, so no one can fall through. Railings are also provided to help people safely move up and down the bleacher steps.
Grout said school employees saved the school a substantial amount of money by removing the old bleachers themselves. The school did not have to pay the bleacher vendor to do the removal.
Board member Darla Meysing asked what happened to the old bleachers. Grout said the hardware was recycled, and the school kept the wood. Grout expressed appreciation for the students who helped haul out the old bleachers and were available to help unload the truck when the new bleachers arrived.
As part of the gym renovations, volleyball standards have been replaced, as well as a few flooring boards around the standards.
Board members admired the refinished floor and wondered about the ?ladder? markings. Grout said that is for physical education exercises.
?I think our vendors have done quality work,? Fast said.
When Meysing said, ?I think people are going to be real happy,? Grout responded, ?They already are.? He said he received a number of positive comments about the gym at enrollment time.
The board also viewed renovations in the computer lab. Fast pointed out the blue and gray tennis balls that had been cut open and attached to the bottom of all the chair legs. He said the balls help to protect the flooring.
Outside, Fast explained other renovations to the board. The board agreed the driveway improvements east of the high school will be appreciated. They noted the ?no parking? signs along that driveway and mentioned the need for at least one more sign since people did park along that driveway at enrollment time where there was no sign. The intention is for no parking at all along the driveway.
Fast said custodian Norman Schmidt had painted the curb red in an effort to keep vehicles off the sidewalk that runs along the driveway.
Fast pointed out the stop sign that has been erected at the south end of the driveway. The public needs to be educated that it is there, and drivers can be ticketed if they do not stop. It is a safety issue, Fast said, noting the importance of stopping to check for traffic before pulling out onto Main Street.
The board viewed drainage improvements that had been made east of the driveway. The board also saw the extended concrete that now runs from the school to the football stadium, making it easier for everyone, especially patrons in wheelchairs, to enter the stadium.
Back in the board room, the board turned its attention to enrollment numbers. Fast presented data for each grade level: kindergarten (18 students), first grade (18), second grade (15), third grade (16), fourth grade (13), fifth grade (19), sixth grade (17), seventh grade (16), eighth grade (22), freshman (24), sophomore (20), junior (35), senior (18).
With a total of 251 students, the school district is down 11 students at this point by ?head count? from last year.
?It?s a sizeable number to be down,? Fast said.
In other business, the board:
n heard that open house at the elementary school would be at 7 p.m. Aug. 19, and open house at the junior/senior high school will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 21.
n heard from Duerksen that the city is planning a fall festival weekend Sept. 27 and 28. A parade is being considered, and the city wondered if school organizations could provide some floats.
n heard Grout report that new staff orientation had been that afternoon.
n approved the five-year inter-local agreement with the Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas consortium.
Fast said ESSDACK provides teacher training, crisis team training, insurance and other services to 40 to 45 school districts in the Hutchinson area. Membership payment is based on the number of full-time equivalent students in the school district.
n heard Meysing?s Marion County Special Education Cooperative board report. She said the Peabody facility will hopefully be ready for the co-op to use soon. Duerksen asked if all the co-op staff have been hired for the school year. Meysing said a social worker is still needed.
n listened to board member Dewayne Voth?s The Learning Consortium report. He said Chuck Buller of Hesston is the chairman, and Voth is the vice president. Voth said there will not be an increase in dues.