Committee recommends going forward with renovation project


August 17, 2011
ALTON — At the Alton School Board meeting on Monday, Aug. 8, Marilyn Dame, the Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, presented a recommendation to go forward with a warrant article for renovations to Alton Central School to be included on the March 2012 ballot.

The cost for the renovations, which will be completed in one project rather than in stages, is still undetermined.

The project will include geothermal energy, and different methods of getting the word out to the public were discussed.

Superintendent Kathy Holt will contact the superintendent at Kingswood Regional High School to find out how they handled media inquiries.

Chair Terri Noyes thanked Dame for her leadership on the buildings and grounds committee.

Vice-chair Krista Argiropolis made a motion to go forward with the recommendations and to have a warrant article drafted for the March 2012 ballot to include geothermal construction as recommended.

Karl Ingoldsby, the building and grounds director, presented the board with information concerning security cameras for the back side of the building, which included a total of four low-resolution cameras.

This proposed system will not be monitored and will record an approximate two-week loop.

Argiropolis asked why an unused computer couldn't be used for this system and about guarantees and warrantees and whether there is a recurring cost for the software licenses.

Holt said that these concerns would be passed on to the security camera company and that the system could be expanded to 32 cameras in the future.

A motion was made to go forward with the proposal, pending questions asked by Argiropolis, with a total cost just under $8,000. Additional signage with an added cost would be added to the project if it goes forward.

Argiropolis questioned why the project wasn't put out to bid, and Ingoldsby said that this was a time sensitive issue and that he received quotes from four different companies with six different quotes.

Noyes asked about the handrails going to the modulars.

Ingoldsby explained that to put a material to preserve the rails, TREX, the cost would be $2,500.

He was asked about options regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

The board approved the Special Education Policies and Procedures Manual.

The Professional Development Master Plan was discussed by the board. The plan has been updated to align with state regulations, as well as the goals of the district.

The board questioned having no community members of the committee that worked on updating the plan, having no board representation on the committee as well and the awkward timing of the meetings.

Members voiced concerns about several missing items and how often the committee met.

Holt said that the committee met once during the summer and nine times throughout the school year.

The board approved the plan with the addition of missing information to be included.

Member Lynda Gooseens made a motion to approve the 2011/2012 SAU policies, preschool, and support staff handbooks.

With no changes to these manuals, the board unanimously approved the above motion.

The board also discussed making changes to the Student/Parent Handbook that included but weren't limited to Saturday morning detention, an increase in "free lunch" of $.07 and tracking/logging busses.

The board approved these changes, approved changes to the substitute teacher handbook with a proposed criminal record check cost change and approved changes to faculty/support staff handbook.

Kathy O'Blenes and Holt have reallocated funds for the fiscal year 2012 Budget based on the decrease in the amount of the funding the school district has to contribute to the retirement plan.

The original default budget had been calculated under the assumption that an additional $147,000 would need to be found to pay the increased retirement costs.

With the new calculations, the shortfall is only $24,375.

Member Jeff St. Cyr made a motion to approve the adjusted budget.

The board approved a second reading of a policy regarding fund balances, and the board approved the personnel report, which included the resignation of Roland Grass and Ingoldsby.

The financial reports for June include a total of $1,602,608.69, with $908,676.78 in payroll and payables totaling $693,931.91. The report for July totaled $1,674,310.39, with $175,755.32 in payroll and $1,498,535.07 in payables.

A bid was accepted for oil with the cost of $3.275 per gallon with Fred Fuller Oil Company and $2.19 per gallon cost of propane from Eastern Propane.

Joan Reese was awarded a $2,375 mini-grant, which is a no strings grant, to be used to improve literacy among the preschool students.

Principal Sydney Leggett has met with Police Chief Ryan Heath concerning the flow and congestion in the back parking lot.

A revised six-day schedule was discussed, and Goossens suggested a link on the Web site for parents to order handbooks as a hard copy, as many don't want the hard copy and prefer would to simply use the Internet copy.

Mary Tetreau asked about an adult accompanying a severely injured child when he or she is transported to the hospital.

It was suggested that a coach could accompany a minor in the event no parent is on site to do so.

The next scheduled Alton School Board meeting is on Monday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. at the Alton Central School music room.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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