School board looks at wash bay

By Dennis Morgan
It doesn’t appear that construction of a bus barn is in School District 18’s near future.
That doesn’t mean attention to the care and upkeep of school buses is being put on the back burner.
Meeting Friday afternoon, the school board provided Superintendent Dan Polk with a direction to follow which could lead to substantial changes in the longevity of school buses and other vehicles.
The buildings committee met prior to Friday’s meeting. Then, during the regular meeting, discussed creating a wash bay on the southeast end of the gymnasium building.
The board gave Polk the go-ahead to get costs for installing an 18-foot door whereby buses could enter from the east and park inside an enclosed wash bay area. Once inside, a power washer would be used, when necessary to clean mud and gravel off the buses as a means of extending the longevity of the vehicles.
Board member Todd Heithoff said he like the idea of being able to pull buses inside the building to be washed off. Another board member, Ron Bode, said the building might have to be modified to make it feasible, he and wanted to see what the costs would be.
To accommodate the wash bay, the shop area will have to be modified, but all in the room believed that could be done. The wash bay, when completed, would be approximately eight foot longer than the length of current school buses now in use.
In other action:
Storm damage — Polk said the school suffered light damage from the rain/snowstorm. He said the art room in the old building had some water, but “the custodians did a tremendous job of keeping everything high and dry.”
Polk also gave out kudos to the office staff (Paula Jensen, Anney Beckman and Principal Greg Wemhoff) for getting school dismissed early and children home. He said the school was fortunate in that day’s lunch had yet to be started so the school did not waste any food.
Perhaps the most noticeable effect of the storm was the forming of “Eagle Lake” in the area between the school gymnasium and Elgin Field. Most of the water in the “lake” came from the south, he said. The area will likely take some time to absorb all the water deposited there.
Teacher contracts — While the board didn’t have to offer teacher contracts (they are automatically offered if no action is taken by April 15) all teachers at District #18 were offered contracts for the 2019-2020 school year.
Floor repairs — Complete Floors submitted a bid of $15,743, to replace the north and south ends of the gym floor with Sport Floor in the colors of red and maple in an attempt to resolve issues with the gym floor which was installed in 2015.
“It’s the best alternative we’ve got,” board member Doug Jones said about fixing the popup problems which have been an issue since shortly after the floor was installed. Principal Greg Wemhoff said he was “pretty confident” this will solve the floor issues.
Technology — The board approved the purchase of computers and promethean boards as suggested by Technology Coordinator Eric Mlinar.
With the purchases, every student will now have a computer which is no more than three years old. In a related motion, the board approved a surplus list of items no longer needed so that they may be sold or discarded.
Tentative calendar — A tentative school calendar for 2019-2020 was approved. Important dates to know are: August 14 – First Day of School; December 20 school will dismiss early for the start of Christmas break; January 6 school begins again; May 9 graduation day for seniors.
Prom 2020 — Wemhoff said the school prom in 2020 will be open to sophomores. By doing so, he said it will provide a better experience with more students participating.