School board … improvements and upkeep projects are in the works

Building maintenance and improvements were the larger part of the scheduled Haakon School District #27-1 board meeting on Monday, March 15.

The board’s building committee recently toured the country schools. The unused Plum Creek school building is in terrible condition. If the building were needed again, renovating it would cost more than bringing in a mobile unit as a replacement. The old building was voted to be surplused and will be offered at auction.

The other country schools are in excellent shape. The Alfalfa Valley School requires no extra attention than general upkeep. Milesville School would benefit from some newer playground equipment. The Deep Creek School building could use some exterior paint. Cheyenne School’s floor will eventually need an underlayment and tiling.

Recommendations made by the State Fire Marshal and other improvements are being looked into concerning costs and bids. Work will be done during the summer time.

The Philip Elementary School needs to have student lockers that are metal and have doors. The high school weight room has extra lockers which can be moved and thus save some expense. The shop’s overhead door should be replaced with an insulated door. Several exterior double doors should be replaced with newer ones that do not have an upright bar between them. A section of ceiling in the elementary entryway should be replaced with fireproof sheetrock. The kitchen needs are still being looked into: a stove hood, an exhaust fan, covered shelving in the walk-in cooler, and an industrial dishwasher.

The exterior of the schools also could use improvements. Some sidewalks should be replaced before liability becomes an issue. A different layout of new concrete could dispose of some fences and make snow removal easier. The north field used as a parking lot should be graveled, in case Philip ever does get rain. The list continues with the planting of trees, seeding of large areas with grass, and purchasing a more usable sprinkler system.

The state is trying to have all schools use a similar format on their technology plans. The largest item under these plans for Philip is upgrading its estimated 250 computers. Many of the newer programs are not “XP” compatible. Amendments can be applied for concerning the state plans and “if budget permits” can be an important clause in the plans.

The calendar for the 2005-06 school year will eliminate the block scheduling system and will revert to seven class periods per day. Some classes will not be continued. To keep a computer class as an option through the four semesters of seventh and eighth grades, students may take computer, art and P.E. once each semester and then take a second class of any one of the three.

Kindergarten will be on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday for most of the school year. On weeks that will have no Monday classes, kindergarten will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Homecoming week will be a Friday-class week since the kindergarten will be attending the celebrations anyway.

The next school board meeting will return to the 7:00 p.m. starting time. The next scheduled meeting will be on Monday, April 18.