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December 19th Richland School Board Meeting

The Richland School Board met for the final time in 2016 Monday night, December 19th.

At the meeting, District Administrator Jarred Burke updated the board on the progress of next year’s referendum projects. He stated that from last year’s referendum planning process to now, they have discovered some additional projects with the facilities that need more attention than originally outlined to voters last spring. The largest of those projects is the high school roof. Burke said that last year $30,000 was included for patch work on the roof, however since then, more pressing repairs were found that will cost upwards of $1.5-million for a full replacement or $480,000 for replacement of a third of the roof. He said the administration and Buildings and Property Committee are looking for ways to adjust current planned projects, and are looking at ways to reduce or save in other areas to address the roof. If the roof work cannot be done within the referendum dollars, the board could elect to try and make the $30,000 patch work – with the idea of going out to another referendum in 3-to-5 years for the project, or simply borrow for the project. Ultimately, Burke said a lot more will be known once the bidding process for the current referendum projects takes place early next year.

Coaching and other staffing recommendations for the middle school and high school football teams were approved for next fall. Andrew Dittburner – who served as the Middle School Assistant Coach earlier this year – will be the Head Varsity Coach in 2017. Caleb Hunt and Ed Levy will be varsity coordinators; and Greg Schoepp – the 2016 Varsity Head Coach – will serve as a varsity Assistant. Jon Bosworth will become the Middle School Head Coach. There were some concerns raised about Hunt and Bosworth staying on as coaches in addition to their roles as administrators, but both expressed that it is a short term solution as the teams improve.

The Richland School Board approved a 2-year girls swimming co-op with River Valley starting next school year. It was explained that there is a growing number of young people participating in competitive swimming at Symons’ Recreation in Richland Center, however there are no varsity opportunities available. The co-op with River Valley would also bolster their squad as well. It was explained that the Blackhawks were anticipating about 7 girls for the sport. Richland Center has identified between 6 and 8 girls interested. The transportation costs for the sport would be the responsibility of the respective school.

Finally, Jarred Burke was given the go-ahead to seek a multi-year contract with Rhyme Business Products for copier service. Burke said he has been negotiating a number of cost saving measures that would ultimately allow an upgrade the copiers districtwide. The board will consider a 2017-2021 contract for copiers when one is available.