The Lennox School Board met April 10.
The board approved the new contracts for Amanda Kruse as Worthing Elementary principal and curriculum director, Christopher Buckmiller as activities director, Shawn Flanagan as elementary PE teacher and head football coach, Brooke Halouska as LWC Intermediate special education, Nancy Marlene as Lennox Elementary special education, Nathan DeWitt as junior high football coach, Vanessa Gabel as head volleyball coach and Trey Manitz as assistant boys tennis coach.
They approved resignations for Kim Poppenga-Smith as Worthing Elementary principal and curriculum director, Amanda Kruse as Lennox Elementary principal, Kristen Ondricek as Worthing Elementary educational specialist, Megan Hanson as 7-12 vocal music, Blake Crosby as fifth grade reading/social studies teacher and head wrestling coach, Baylee Sandbulte as Lennox Elementary fourth grade teacher, assistant girls basketball coach and assistant track coach, Chris Walker as Lennox and Worthing Elementary PE teacher and junior high girls basketball coach, Nathan DeWitt as assistant football coach, Vanessa Gabel as assistant tennis coach and assistant volleyball coach, Danielle Dubblede as assistant FFA adviser and Matthew Luze as strength training coach.
The board approved reducing Lennox Elementary third grade to two sections and adding one section of second grade for the next school year.
They also approved the transfers of Jennifer Nielson from first grade to second grade and Michael Ihler from third grade to first grade at Lennox Elementary. They approved the elimination of an ESSER funds-created position which the Worthing Elementary principal will be picking up some of those duties.
The board approved the concurrent enrollment memorandum of understanding with Southeast Technical College for two construction classes that Paul Kruse teaches.
After about 30 minutes in executive session, the board approved the 2023-24 Lennox Education Association/Board of Education negotiated agreement, classified staff salary and health insurance proposal, administrator, director and special service salary and health insurance proposals, certified teacher contracts and classified and special service contracts.
The board approved the bid for a 2023 nine-passenger SUV from Billion Automotive for $56,200.
They also approved the district’s membership in the South Dakota High School Activities Association.
They also approved the Perkins consortium agreement and NPIP joint powers agreement.
Building principals reported that students and staff are preparing for Smarter Balance testing later this month.
Sayler shared that the current stage is about 7-9 feet smaller than that of an average stage, the dressing rooms only hold two people and there is virtually no storage. Sayler said the current setup may have fit the need at the time but as the program has grown so has the need for a more adequate facility.
Performing arts centers are be coming more relevant in today’s public-school systems. In this region alone, Canton, Harrisburg, Brandon Valley, and Sioux Falls all have them and plans are currently underway in Tea to add one to their school system.
The larger weight room proposal is to create more efficiency in moving students through their workouts. The District believes the increased space would also allow for more comprehensive training programs.
These proposed project will require the passage of a bond, and a 60% majority vote in favor of issuing the bonds at an election. The election is set for Tuesday, May 9. The tax levy for the bond would be $1.18 PER $1,000 of valuation on a 20-year General Obligation Bond or $1.01 PER $1,000 of valuation on a 25-year General Obligation Bond. For a home with an assessed value of $300,000 the annual bond amount would be $354 or $29.50 month on the 20 year bond or $303 ($25.25 a month) on a 25 year bond. The current bond passed in 2003 to pay for the construction of the high school will be paid in full in July 2023.
The cost estimate for this project is $17,260,000 which is broken down in the following way: the auxiliary gym, fitness center, and locker rooms will cost $8,500,000; a 900-seat performing arts center will cost $8,600,000 (there is an 800-seat option that would reduce the cost by $200,000); and the kitchen remodel which would cost $160,000.
Should the bond pass, Architecture Incorporated will immediately begin work on engineered drawings and bid documents to be finished on or around October 2023. The District anticipates receiving bids back and awarding the project on or around December of 2023 with construction of the project tentatively starting in April of 2024 with a completion date on or around May of 2025.
If the bond does not pass, the district will utilize available funds to remodel the kitchen to accommodate two serving lines. All other proposed aspects of this project would be put on hold for future evaluation.