A grant for cleanup of the asbestos and lead based paint at the old Elementary School was the big topic of discussion at the November meeting of the school board held Monday, Nov. 16.
Melisa Bryant of Ida-Lew Economic Development and Steve Gill of the Idaho Division of Environmental Quality were in attendance to provide information and answer questions.
The grant being sought is for what is called a Brownfield cleanup and would be for $200,000.
A Brownfield cleanup involves removal of asbestos and lead-based paint and replacement with safe materials.
The only offers the district has received for the building have been very lowball offers because the bidders were aware of the cleanup problems. Once this is done the building would be worth much more and would have more potential.
Bryant stated the Environmental Protection Agency is excited about the project and feels they would have a great chance of getting awarded. Bryant has been working with Superintendent Rene’ Forsmann on potential uses for the building for the past couple of years and are working together on the grant application which needs to be turned in by Dec. 18. Grant awards would be made in April.
In other business information on the hot lunch program was provided to board members for review. If the district were to remove themselves from the federal programs they would need to come up with over $250,000 and the price of lunches would go up to more than $5. The board members have been invited to come eat with the students and they decided to go Nov. 23 with some eating at the Elementary School and the rest at the Jr./Sr. High. Board chairman Gus Hoene did say that the kitchen facilities are in top-notch condition at Prairie Schools especially compared to some of the other area schools he visits in his job.
The Idaho School Board Association meeting was discussed with board members sharing information from the seminars they attended. Hoene said he mostly attended seminars on how to run board meetings and the duties of the board chairman. Tara Rowland said she feels we are very fortunate in our situation after listening to some of the board members from other districts talk about their issues.
The district paid to get the policy manual redone and they will review a section of it at a time to fill in blanks and make sure it says what they want. This month they reviewed section 1. Forsmann is posting this to the school website.
In the facilities update Forsmann presented the board with a couple of options on the proposed bus barn. One option was to have the bus bays open and the other was to make it so that if they wanted to add doors later, they could. The difference appears to be about $15,000 but some clarification is needed. The board made a motion to ask the architect for that clarification and proceed with the project. Estimates appear to run in the $280,000-$300,000 range. The proposed location is to the left of the north entrance to the football field with the west end about where the current ticket booth is located. It would run lengthwise along the fence.
In admin reports Forsmann reported they had excellent turnout at parent-teacher conferences.
Those meeting Accelerated Reading goals had a movie party on Nov. 5.
Carrie Nygaard reported their parent-teacher conferences were some of the best attended ever with 61%.
She reported on the extracurricular activities, congratulating the volleyball team on their back-to-back state championships.
Girls basketball practice started Nov. 2 with their first game this Thursday against the Lewiston JV while the JV will take on the Lewiston Sophomores.
The Idaho County Shootout with Grangeville is at Prairie this year on Friday, Dec. 4. The JV games are to be at Grangeville on Dec. 2.
The junior-senior high concert is set for Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. in the gym.
The meeting adjourned at 7:53 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, December 21 at 5:30 p.m.