Architects report progress on school upgrade
StruXture Architects working with the Fairfield Community School District on renovations at the high school updated school board members of its progress in a letter shared at Monday’s school board meeting.
According to Nicholas Hildebrandt, principal architect, the building floor plans have been fine-tuned to get closer to the exact square footage and layouts prior to meeting with teachers and staff.
The architect team has reviewed and completed a preliminary code plan to meet with the state fire marshal about codes and confirm all additions and renovations will meet fire safety codes.
A site survey is complete, designating location of utilities and grade elevations for the upcoming design and construction work.
“We’ve had a brainstorming session with administrators about current education trends and how these may help us decide the layout of the existing high school classroom space,” wrote Hildebrandt. “Since we are creating new science rooms the old science rooms are freed up in the building which allows us to move spaces around to get better adjacencies among departments. Some of this also comes from relocating the offices to the lower level and shifting of other spaces throughout the building.”
Architects will be finalizing locations for everyone within the high school and what the remodeled spaces are to become.
“This will allow us to meet with teachers right away in the fall that reside in the new spaces, and also those that are being moved into renovated spaces throughout the existing high school,” wrote Hildebrandt.
Architects will continue to review the building and verify existing conditions to try to reduce unknown issues as renovation takes place.
District Director of Auxiliary Services Fred McElwee said a kitchen and food service re-design will now be part of the high school renovations.
“The kitchen and prep space will be re-designed, two serving lines with two point-of-sale registers will be accommodated so all students can be served faster,” said McElwee.
“We want to purchase a flash freezer. We intend to purchase farm-to-school produce, flash freeze it and be able to serve the produce all year long,” he said. “We’re also looking to buy local greens from local sources.”
McElwee also is looking at new construction energy rebate programs.
“Various packages will be presented at no cost to the board for consideration,” said McElwee.
The district’s new summer free lunch program had a slow start, McElwee said, building to a high of 30 students Friday. Monday, summer school began and free lunch attendance rose to 90 students.
The Department of Education’s nutrition initiative, the summer lunch program, is fully funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. The meal is open to anyone ages 2-18 years old. Children do not have to live in Fairfield to participate in the free lunch and there are no income requirements.
Fairfield Community School District cooks prepare the meals, which are served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday through Friday at Pence Elementary School. Meals will be served every weekday through Aug. 9, except RAGBRAI Friday, July 26.
Activities Director Jeff Courtright reported many high school athletes have taken advantage of the summer strength and conditioning workouts led by coaching staff beginning at 6 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The workouts include a 10-minute warm up, a 40-minute speed and agility session and a 40-minute strength session.
“We’ve ranged from 50 to 80 athletes at each session,” he said. “Both our male and female athletes have been well represented at the workouts.”
In other business Monday, the school board:
• Accepted the resignation of Heather Buckley, fourth grade teacher at Washington Elementary School. She has accepted an offer to serve Cardinal and Pekin school districts as a shared curriculum director.
• Accepted the resignation of Angela Jones as middle school special education teacher.
• Accepted the resignation of Linda Oakes, home school secretary and substitute staff finder. The district plans to explore an automated sub-finder and intends not to replace the home school secretary position. Oakes is retiring after 19 years in the position.
• Accepted the resignation of John Grunwald, elementary/middle school music teacher. He has accepted the administrative position of technology director in the district.
• Approved Grunwald as district technology director. He will have a 245-day contract and a salary of $68,000. While teaching music at Harmony Community Schools, prior to coming to Fairfield four years ago, Grunwald also took responsibility as Harmony’s technology director in 1997 for 11 years.
• Approved hiring Cale Curoe as middle school language arts and reading teacher. Curoe is a first year teacher, at bachelor of arts degree, step 1, $34,264 annual salary.
• Approved hiring Jennifer DeManuele-Kinder as middle school special education teacher. DeManuele-Kinder is a first year teacher with a master’s degree plus 15; she will start at step 1 MA+15, $38,610 annual salary.
• Approved hiring Madeline Sloat for elementary/middle school music teacher. She is a Fairfield High School graduate and has successfully completed a year as K-12 vocal music director at Pekin Community School District. She starts at BA step 2, $35,222, plus supplemental pay at level 8, step 2, $557.
• Approved hiring Karen Price, home school assistant teacher, BA step 8, $40,966 annual salary. Price has been an active parent and teacher in home school assistance programs for more than 15 years.
• Approved hiring Taylor Hjerleid for seventh grade head volleyball coach, level 5, step 2, $1,444. Hjerleid is an elementary physical education teacher in the district.
• Approved two Family Medical Leave Act requests.
• Approved the second reading of the district’s wellness policy as amended.
Prior to the regular school board meeting, the board held a closed, student expulsion hearing. It voted to expel a middle school student for the first 45 days of the 2013-14 school year. The Individual Education Plan team will determine services.