The Manhattan-Ogden School Board had a wide array of topics to go over during their Wednesday night meeting. They had everything from awards, to bond discussion, to construction reports, to redistricting.
The night started early with a work session to discuss the sale of construction bonds. The board reviewed the bonds and discussed payment issues. The board later in the night passed unanimously the sale of the remaining construction bonds.
The board then had a special recognition for some of the Manhattan High School students. The first round of students were those who were 2011 National Merit Semifinalists. These students were Holly Banks, Maxwell Erdwien, Ethan Pauls, Linda Pei and George Wang. The next group included those students who received Outstanding Achievement in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. These students were Felix Amanor-Boadu and Brian Burton.
Next was board comments, where Member Pete Paukstelis brought up the issue of the sales tax debate that is occurring between Riley County and the City of Manhattan. He wanted the board to take this issue to the intergovernmental meeting to give their take on how the school system affects the economy of Manhattan.
There was also discussion concerning the amount being paid to water utilities. The members questioned whether there would be a possibility of having a well-irrigation system to water grass instead of the system now. This issue will be looked into and examined at a later time.
Construction was again a major topic during the meeting. There was a change order for Theodore Roosevelt that passed unanimously. There was continuous talk of Woodrow Wilson and even though things aren’t done on time, Program Manager Trisha Brooke-Fruendt believes things are looking up. The 6th graders will be looking to move back to Woodrow Wilson no earlier than October 7th.
The board also had to decide whether to pass the motion to pay First Management a revised amount. The company sent in their #6 pay application and with the issues it created concern for the board. The board passed the motion to pay the company a revised amount 6 -1 with Darell Edie voting no. The amount decreased from $912,740 to $736,104.
Manhattan High School will be having its open house to the public on October 16th from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM.
Though the high school has been moving along well, there was an issue raised for the Project Manager Dean Youngers by the board. There seems to be a number of skate boarders who have been using the new high school as their playground and the board questioned whether there was any way to stop this or at least limit the areas that can be used. Youngers will look into the issue.
There was also a new contract that was brought to the board concerning the aTa Bus system. Pam Russell, Executive Director of Special Services, brought forth the contract that would give families the option of using the bus system to get their kids to school. There were some concerns. There is hope that there is a more concrete design of the contract by the second reading. This system would give students who live within the 2.5 mile radius of a school a new option to get to school, along with special services for students who need it. However, kids under 12 will have to have a paying adult ride with them on the aTa bus.
The board ended the meeting by going over the redistricting criteria and appointing members to the Redistricting committee. The board passed the criteria unanimously with the revised wording. They also appointed Members Walt Pesaresi and Curt Herrman to the committee.
Following is the conversation between Pam Russell and Board member Walt Pesaresi: