USD 410 board approves purchase of Date property

The Unified School District 410 Board of Education approved purchase of property to house the transportation facility and central office space at Monday?s regular meeting.

After meeting in executive session, the district voted to pay $395,000 to J.K.L., LLC for facilities at 415 and 416 S. Date, formerly the home of the Irv Schroeder County Motors dealership, recently acquired by Midway Motors.

The money will come from bond proceeds, said Rod Koons, board president.

A timeline for the move hasn?t been established, and depends on the completion of a new facility to be built by Mid?way Motors along U.S. Highway 56.

?I think this is something that meets our needs…it?s more than we anticipated,? said Superintendent Doug Huxman. ?The end product is going to be something that will be well used and purchased at a reasonable cost.?

Originally, the board had planned to lease space for its central offices and transportation and maintenance center at the city-owned AMPI building, which was part of the initial proposal in the bond election in June 2007.

Since that time, however, the board had decided to pursue other options, including building a new facility just south of the City of Hillsboro maintenance area along North Adams.

Huxman reported that progress is being made to complete the improvements and construction for the high school and elementary school facilities.

?I always hate to say too much (too soon),? Huxman said, ?but we believe the vast majority of the items will be done this week…. We?re really getting very close.?

Board member Eddie Weber asked about planning an open house for the community.

?Now I think we can start setting that up,? Huxman said.

Hillsboro Elementary School principal Evan Yoder reported students and teachers were getting into a routine for student drop-off and pick-up changes.

Yoder said he had received some complaints from parents who are having to wait awhile to pick up their children.

People didn?t remember when town kids were released, they made a beeline across the street, Yoder said.

?We knew that was a dangerous situation,? he said about the rationale in using the circular front drive only for unloading buses and kindergarteners, who arrive later.

?Slow is safe for kids who tend to dart out of traffic,? he added. ?I?m not going to apologize for being slower?slow is safe.?

Hillsboro Middle School principal Greg Brown said, ?We?re off to a really good start.?

He announced Hoisington is dropping out of the middle school division, so plans need to be made to adjust the sports schedule.

With 62 students showing up for the Leo club, he said he would welcome ideas and activities with which they could be involved.

In his report, Hillsboro High School principal Max Heinrichs reviewed ACT scores for the past year, which were down slightly.

Hillsboro students are still scoring high in comparison to state and national scores, he said. For example, 90 percent of the district?s students were considered prepared for English at the college level, while the 75 percent scored at the level statewide and 68 percent nationally.

?I?m really happy with that,? he said. ?I?m really proud of our kids.?

One goal this year is to work on a crisis plan to be implemented in case of a need to evacuate the school, Heinrich said.

Business manager Jerry Hinerman reported the auditors would be in the district office next week.

In other business, the board:

n approved the resignations of Scott O?Hare as assistant HMS wrestling coach and Keli Chisholm as an assistant track coach.

n briefly discussed the idea of changing to the ABC teams concept for seventh and eighth grade sports rather than grade-level teams. Currently, there?s a disparity in the number of girls going out for volleyball, Hein?richs said.

n approved the district?s Micrsoft School License agreement for $20,003. In the past it?s been under the $20,000 threshold, but now it?s $3 above so the board has to approve it, Huxman said.

n approved facility-use guidelines. The only change from last year was adding a policy for using the district?s portable bleachers.

Five facility usage categories include school-sponsored groups, not-for-profit groups (student-centered); not-for-profit groups (community-centered), for-profit groups (child-centered) and for-profit/private business groups.

Weber raised the question of whether something needs to be included about bringing dogs to the facilities.

While Heinrichs agreed it is a safety concern, no action was taken on that issue.

Board members Dale Klassen and Mark Rooker arrived in time for the executive session on acquisition of real property. Brent Barkman was absent from the meeting.

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