by Evelyn Pyburn-Originally published in the Yellowstone County News Print edition on 5/6/16
LOCKWOOD — Seizing the opportunity while it is available, Lockwood School Board has voted to purchase property at the center of the Lockwood School campus. The original farmstead of John Yurian’s family, which fronts onto Highway 87 East, will be purchased from Yurian for $350,000.
The Yurian family sold the first parcel of their farm to Lockwood school at the school’s start. While the Yurian family continued to farm the remaining property over the years, and the school continued to grow, they occasionally sold another parcel to the school district as it was needed. The Yurian family rejected other offers for what remains of their homestead, in the hope to be able to sell it to the school.
John Yurian was born in the original family home, which is one of the remaining structures on the property. Yurian was among the first students of Lockwood School and in later years his daughters attended Lockwood School.
Besides its ideal location, buildings on the property hold great potential for future use by the school. There are steel buildings that might be converted for shop classes, and other potential for classrooms for career education programs. Another potential future use would be to lease the house as a site for a health clinic for the school and Lockwood.
The purchase draws down the school’s building reserve account significantly, but board members agreed it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
In other business, the Lockwood School Board passed on second reading a change in policy that will allow the school to charge tuition and accept nonresident students as space permits. Following information from Superintendent Tobin Novasio about the actual costs, the board reduced a proposed tuition of $400 included in first reading, to $360 per year. Families with multiple children will pay incrementally 50 percent less for each additional student, to the point of no charge for the fifth student.
Lockwood School District held no trustee election this year because only three candidates filed for the three open positions on the board. Terms up for election were those of Tim Sather and Don Reed, and both filed for re-election. Board Member Vicky Crouse who was filling an uncompleted term, opted not to run for the position. It will be filled by Michelle Gomez, who also applied to fill the position at the same time as Crouse did.
It was reported that talks between the school board’s negotiating committee and the newly formed paraprofessional’s union have stalled, and mediation was scheduled.
The Lockwood board approved contracts for classified and certified staff.