REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS GRAND FORKS SCHOOL BOARD SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES December 17, 2020 The Grand Forks School Board met in a special session on Thursday, December 17, 2020, with Vice President Eric Lunn presiding.
REPORT OF THE PROCEEDINGS
GRAND FORKS SCHOOL BOARD
SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES
December 17, 2020
The Grand Forks School Board met in a special session on Thursday, December 17, 2020, with Vice President Eric Lunn presiding.
Board Members Present: Doug Carpenter, Chris Douthit, Amber Flynn via phone, Jacqueline Hoffarth, Eric Lunn, Jeff Manley, Shannon Mikula, Bill Palmiscno, and Cynthia Shabb. Absent: None.
Student Board Members Present: Alicia Dela Cruz. Absent: Evan Whalen.
Others Present: Dr. Terry Brenner, Superintendent of Schools; Scott J. Berge, Business Manager; Jody Thompson, Associate Superintendent of Elementary Education, Catherine Gillach via phone, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education; Melissa Buchhop, President, Grand Forks Education Association; and Cindy Johnson, Executive Secretary.
Call to Order: 6:00 p.m.
Discussed: Facilities Taskforce Report & Recommendation
Hoffarth joined the meeting at 6:02 p.m.
Mikula joined the meeting at 6:27 p.m.
Buchhop left the meeting at 7:30 p.m.
The recommendation of the Facilities Taskforce is:
1.The school board adopts a long-term facility master plan that is comprehensive and transparent in addressing both the significant facility needs as well as budget concerns. This needs to be presented and communicated fully to the public as a part of any referendum campaign.
2.When considering projects to be completed, the taskforce believes that an emphasis should be placed in the following areas: (A) Replacement of Valley Middle School and West Elementary School as renovation is no longer viable. (B) Consolidation of several smaller schools in the district is required to provide equitable facilities, programs, and opportunities for students throughout the district. Additionally, this provides significant operational savings to the district in addressing budget issues. (C) Special education and medically fragile students deserve respectable and equitable facilities which are not present in several of our schools. Addressing this issue needs to be a priority. (D) A healthy learning environment in ALL schools is necessary for ALL students to achieve at their highest potential. This includes environmental aspects of air quality, lighting, temperature/humidity, and sound. (E) Safety, security, and accessibility (ADA) concerns need to be addressed in all schools, including (but not limited to) modern secure entryways, school surveillance, and accessible restrooms.
3.Phase I of the facility master plan should include a bond referendum in the amount of $90 million to address immediate needs and a progressive increase of the building fund levy of 2 mills per year for 5 years to address on-going maintenance needs. As an option, the board could consider simply requesting an additional 5 mills of building fund levy as part of Phase I and an additional 5 mills of building levy as part of Phase II.
4.Phase II (timing TBD) of the facility master plan should include an additional bond referendum in the amount of $64.4 million to address continued facility needs. The projects that should be considered for use of the bond referendum proceeds include closing/consolidating Lewis & Clark into a remodeled/expanded Ben Franklin; and closing/consolidating Viking into a remodeled/expanded Kelly (total: $49.4 million). Additional high priority projects (TBD) would be completed at other schools (total $15.0 million).
5.All operational savings that result from the consolidation of elementary schools should be used to increase the fund balance until it is rebuilt to an appropriate level (15%-20% of operating budget).
Adjourned: 8:48 pm
(Jan. 27, 2021) 2873426