Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2014

Fairfield school district receives free computers

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Dec 20, 2012

Fairfield school district technology director Mark Cremer told the school board Monday about obtaining 200 dual core computers and 150 laptops for the district at no expense and getting rid of 9,400 pounds of recyclable electronics at no cost.

The computers are Department of Defense property that’s been replaced by more current computers.

“The only expense to get the free computers was renting a truck and driving to Rock Island Arsenal in August to pick them up and taking some staff in my department along to help load them,” he said.

“Things needed to be done on the equipment, but we were able to replace all stations at the Career Academy, computers in the high school media lab and in the downstairs ‘PC’ lab,” said Cremer.

He has plans to replace computers in the family consumer science department during Christmas break.

Cremer similarly saved the district money by contacting Midwest Recycling Center.

“That name may sound familiar, they plan to open a location in Fairfield,” he said. “They came up from St. Louis last month and hauled away 9,400 pounds at no charge. The only expense was my department’s labor to load the equipment.”

Cremer said he hopes to rewire the Fairfield High School media center’s lab.

“It was originally wired for 12 computers and it has 28 there now,” he said.

Board member Jeri Kunkle told Cremer he does “incredible work.”

He said he has a good team of four.

“You’re very creative in stretching district dollars, which we appreciate,” said board president Jennifer Anderson.

The board approved a bid recommended by director of auxiliary services Fred McElwee for $171,978 for two 65 passenger International school buses from Hoglund Bus Co., to be delivered and paid for after July 1. Fairfield school district uses the physical plant and equipment levy to buy buses.

Hoglund’s quote was the middle quote of three. Thomas Bus Sales had a $1,260 lower quote for two similar buses.

McElwee said in the past Hoglund has been the low bidder, and he prefers to have International buses because the district’s current fleet is all Internationals, district mechanics are trained to work on the engine and multiplex wiring harness of International, his current inventory of parts is all International, and he said the overall performance and satisfaction of International buses has been met.

Board member Bob Waugh, a former bus driver for the district and currently driving school buses for Van Buren Community School District, disagreed with not accepting the lowest bid and voted no, but it was a 6-1 vote.

“I feel it’s somewhat defeating the purpose of bidding if we don’t accept the lowest bid,” said Waugh. “I drive Thomas buses at Van Buren, and they have been good — nothing against International, but that’s a $1,260 difference.”

Kunkle said she would vote according to the administrator’s recommendation.

“We specify what type of engine [in bid proposals] and International was the only one to meet our specifications,” McElwee said.

In other business Monday:

• Fairfield Middle School Principal Laura Atwood said the school would provide an after-school tutoring session focused on math and reading from Jan. 7 to March 6. FMS teachers will tutor and 83 students have signed up. Title I funds pay for the teachers to work as tutors.

• The board approved McElwee’s request to seek quotes for a 2013 mid-size, four-door vehicle.

• The board approved the final payment for FMS air handling renovation and installation. The retainage portion of the funds is still held by the school district.

“We’ll hold that until the project is fully complete with no outstanding concerns or issues,” said McElwee.

Monday’s board packet included a letter from Sam’s Well Drilling, the contractor that drilled the geo-thermal wells, outlining the timeline and problems encountered on the job. A more expensive graphite was needed to complete the job, and the school district and Shive-Hattery Architecture Engineering Consulting Firm are discussing who is responsible to pay the increased charges.

• The board approved a no-cost adjustment in the contract with Carl A. Nelson & Co., construction manager hired to direct a proposed FHS renovation/addition. Dispute resolution will be by litigation, replacing the original word, by arbitration. The change aligns dispute resolution with the same manner chosen by StruXture Architects, another company hired to work with the district and Carl A. Nelson on the proposed project.

• The board approved several personnel actions: transfer of Teri Greenfield from middle school associate to a one-on-one associate at Washington Elementary School; resignation of Shannon Price, associate at Pence Elementary School and as wrestling cheerleading sponsor; resignation of Alyssa Moore, FHS library associate; resignation of Brent Blakely, FMS associate and hire Blakely as FMS special education teacher; hire Eric Caplan as associate at Pence; hire Darla Stacy, Amanda Jarvis and Tori Koontz as associates at FMS; and increasing contract hours for Kim Funkhouser from 25 hours to 27.5 hours per week.

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