Winter puts a halt to school construction; new plans submitted

by Sharon Michaels 
WORDEN – “The construction  for the Huntley Project School is still on hold because of two feet of frost,” said Brent Sumner of Fisher Construction at the district’s school board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16

“We are in the process of developing bid forms and a list of questions for Terry Sukut of CTA Architects,” he added.

Sukut presented the board with refined drawings for the new school. “The plans have been sent to state for review. There should be no issues in obtaining the state permit. We will be coordinating with Sumner and the board on interior materials and a layout of color boards for the interior,” Sukut said.

Board president Mark Fox asked about touring the bleachers at the Rocky Mountain College. These bleachers have been recommended for the new gym because they are the latest update. Sukut said they could possibly do it this week if everyone’s schedules would coordinate.

Testing coordinator Mona Sindelar presented a detailed report on the five-year.

Comprehensive Education Plan for 2009-2014. Her report included a profile for the school to assure appropriate learning experience to all children in the district, to develop skills and attitudes fundamental in achieving individual satisfaction. The school district shall strive to provide the opportunities to each student to realize their full potential, the report stated.

“Our goal includes a performance indicator that states our school will meet or exceed the proficiency level set by the state of Montana OPI at 83 percent in reading and 68 percent in math. The staff at OPI have been very helpful. The best outcome of all the assistance and guidance OPI provides, is the education of our students has improved and we have been able to increase the maximum potential of every student in our school,” said Sindelar.

“I am very impressed with the teachers and their commitment and involvement,” she added.

The board received a letter from Kevin Brown with Travelers Insurance stating the total claim payments issued to date are $8,749,259.21 The inventory for fire damaged contents will be reconciled with district clerk Rita Huck.

Huck said, “I have gone over every bill to verify the amounts.”

The board voted unanimously to purchase a 2008 Dodge Caravan for $14,000.

“This will be used to save the district on mileage money,” said Superintendent Wes Coy.

Bill Murphy, Eric Miller and Meizhu Li were hired to coach junior high track.

“Because of the amount of students that go out for track, we need this many for supervision and events,” said activities director Jay Santy.

Jacqueline Saultz and Shelley Cooper were hired as custodians pending background checks and pre-employment physicals.

Coy told the board the district is reasonably on the same budget as last year. “We will have a better idea next month. We would really rather not run a mill levy.”

After 21 years of teaching first grade, Marjorie Hughes is retiring at the end of the school year and next year, Andrea Connard will continue to teach fourth grade but will no longer be the assistant cheerleading coach.

Tim Miller with the County Works Department attended the meeting to advise the district of three bridges that need replacement. The $350,000 project includes a bridge on Road 24 South and Road 44 and one north of Shepherd.

The department is going for a state grant and would like the county’s support.

The application deadline for  school board election is Thursday, March 25. The election is set for Tuesday, May 3.  One seat is up for election, currently held by Fox who will be running again.

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, March 16.