High school to add more paved parking spotsSouth parking lot will be converted from gravel to concrete
Work will begin as soon as possible to build a 44-parking space, concrete-paved lot on the west side of Fairfield High School after the lowest of four bids was approved on a 6-1 vote Monday by the Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors.
Board member Jerry Nelson voted no. Nelson said it was “a waste of money to do a little bit of concrete” on the drive to the south parking lot.
Matt Walker, an engineer at French-Reneker-Associates Inc., said the bid alternate includes paving the south parking lot as well as the driveway, which has been graveled and becomes rutted from water run-off.
Nelson objected that a concrete drive to the south parking lot across Broadway Avenue from the front of the high school would be a very slick surface for cars in snow and ice.
Auxiliary Services Director Fred McElwee said the slope would be reduced.
“That drive will not be anymore of a grade than the current outlet [on the west parking lot] to Briggs Avenue,” said McElwee.
Superintendent Art Sathoff said the bids were favorable enough that the whole south parking lot and entrance drive could be paved with concrete.
The south parking lot should create about 41 parking spaces. As a gravel parking lot, cars park in various formations, not always using the space available.
French-Reneker’s estimates for the new west parking lot had been $119,000 and with the alternate for the south parking lot at $69,084, a total of $188,084 for a project cost.
JDM Contracting of West Point bid $93,127 for building the new west parking lot and $58,828 for paving the south lot for a total $151,955 project cost and was awarded the bid.
“Another French-Reneker associate just finished up a project with JDM Contracting in Kahoka, Mo., and was pleased with the project,” said Walker. “JDM Contracting is an Iowa company and they have done some work at Jefferson County Health Center and will be doing work for the Fairfield Pilot Grove Savings Bank.”
Other bids were from Wesley Barton Construction Inc. of Mount Pleasant at $157,106 for both lots; MJ Daly Construction Co. Inc. of Burlington at $159,522 for both lots; and J&L Construction LLC of Washington, Iowa, at $167,606 for both lots.
The contract stipulates the project must be completed by Dec. 15.
McElwee had recommended the board accept the low bid and include the alternate.
“I feel we can afford this through paying with S.A.V.E. [Secure an Advanced Vision for Education] funds,” he said.
A public hearing at the beginning of Monday’s meeting drew no public comments about the parking lot projects.
McElwee brought up the idea to add parking spaces at the high school earlier this year, knowing that upcoming renovations will reduce the current parking spaces with construction equipment for a few years and permanently reduce about seven spaces after the renovations are complete.
The vote for this project was made by the reorganized school board, which included re-elected Jennifer Anderson and newly elected Joe Carr and Kate Van Pelt. Continuing school board members include Jeremy Miller, Rich Metcalf, Amy Miller and Nelson.
Earlier in the meeting, the superintendent and board gave a farewell and thanks to Bob Waugh and Jeri Kunkle (who was not present Monday), both stepping down from service on the school board.
The new board members took the oath of office and board elections were held. Anderson was re-elected board president and Jeremy Miller as vice president.
The school board members then approved meeting dates and times for the year. Regular board meetings will continue to be held at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the district’s Administration/Curriculum/Technology Center.
The regular Nov. 18 school board meeting is currently scheduled to take place at the high school and the March 17 meeting at Libertyville Elementary School.
School board work sessions will be held at 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month, at the A/C/T Center, with some months not having a work session.
Special school board meetings will be called as necessary if an immediate issue needing a vote presents itself.
In other business:
• McElwee said the district’s 32 buses were state-inspected; 14 buses passed; 16 had minor deficiencies to be corrected within 30 days; and two buses were scored as out-of-service.
“One of those two had a safety issue with a fogging mirror and has already been corrected and is back in service,” said McElwee. “The other bus should be corrected in a day.”
The 16 buses needing minor corrections include things such as burned out bulbs and are quickly remedied.
• FHS Principal Aaron Becker reported StruXture architect team members have been meeting with small groups of teachers regarding different parts of the building.
“It’s been Brian [Stone, FHS assistant principal], Jeff [Courtright, activities director] and myself with affected teachers to review the design process for the renovations and have staff give input,” said Becker. “The architects take it back to Carl Nelson [construction management team] to see what can work. It’s a good process to get multiple eyes on the plans. It’s creating some excitement with staff, like it’s finally going to happen.”
• Becker also recognized FHS teachers who have trained to be local coaches for Authentic Intellectual Work, a professional development tool used at the high school. Those FHS teachers are Kevin Hosbond, Scott Slechta, Fred Hucke and Jim Edgeton.
“We’re growing our own leadership for professional development in the building,” said Becker.
• The school board approved Margaret Kelly of Fairfield as an Area Education Agency board of director for the district; current board member, John Adam of Richland, chose not to seek re-election to the Great River Prairie AEA board. Kelly was the only candidate to file a statement of candidacy. The term is four years, October 2013 to 2017.