Rockridge OKs gym floor replacement bid

Cathy Decker Times Record

EDGINGTON — The Rockridge School Board on Feb. 13 approved the south gym floor replacement project at a cost of $253,072. The installation will begin right after Memorial Day and was recommended by district architect Bill Phillips. 

The Chicago-based firm of Kiefer Flooring will install the new wood floor. Included in the flooring bid was a termite prevention process for a cost of around $5,000 with a plastic barrier and chemicals added beneath the flooring, as well as treatment outside the building.

Money from the district’s health-life-safety fund will pay for the job.

The board learned that two donations were made. One, from the Pithan family, was for $7,000 to go to the district’s music program. This is the family’s 19th year for making a donation to music in the schools. The second was a $600 donation to the Matt and Rachel Brown family from the high school student council “hat day fundraiser.” The donation will help with some medical costs.

The board had a lengthy discussion on elementary school usage. Superintendent Perry Miller brought three options for the board to consider for the 2017-2018 school year. Option one would be to move the pre-kindergarten class from Andalusia Elementary to Taylor Ridge Elementary. “Andalusia uses all its space,” said Miller. That move would open one classroom in Andalusia.

The second option was to leave the prekindergarten at Andalusia and move either a second or third-grade class from Taylor Ridge to Illinois City Elementary. Class sizes at Taylor Ridge range between 25 and 26 students.

A third option was suggested by a member of the audience that would revert each building back to kindergarten through fifth grade learning centers.

Board member Nathan Faith suggested the district should also consider closing Illinois City, as there are only 70 students there. He said the district could bring in some temporary outbuilding classrooms for overflow at the two remaining elementary buildings. 

“There is not a perfect answer for this,” said board president Jeff Widdop. Transportation was also an issue. “I’m less concerned with the cost and more concerned with the bus times,” he said. “Bus times will really be a challenge.”

There was some talk about moving all fourth- and fifth-grade classes to Illinois City or moving all third-grade classes to Illinois City.

Currently the district’s elementary school census at each school is: Andalusia: 268 with all third, fourth-  and fifth-grade classes held there, as well as the district’s preschool program; Taylor Ridge holds classes for kindergarten, first- and second-graders with 146 students, and Illinois City has 69 students in kindergarten, first and second grades.

There was no action taken on the elementary schools. The board directed the superintendent to map out where current student population lives and the impact each option would have for bus times and student numbers at each school.

In other business the board:

• Learned the four open board seats that will be voted on in April include one person, Matt Brown, who is on the ballot and three candidates running as write-ins — Janet Flaherty, Brian Dinnon and Tom Parchert.

• Accepted resignations from Vicky Ruggles (bus driver), effective Jan. 6; Jay Bizarri (boys and girls basketball coach), effective the end of the 2016-2017 school year; Lori Barber (junior-senior high cafeteria assistant cook), effective Feb. 3.

• Agreed to hire Lori Barber as a full-time special education bus driver, effective Feb. 6; Randy Glasgow, full-time bus mechanic, effective Jan. 6, 2017; Shelly Swan, assistant cook and dishwasher at the junior-senior high school and Victoria Hofer, part-time assistant cook, both effective immediately.

• Approved two Sunday requests: a lip sync fundraiser by the National Honor Society for 2 p.m. Feb. 26 in the high school auditorium and a 4 p.m. Fellowship of Christian Athletes baccalaureate service on May 21.

• Approved the classified seniority list, Oda B. Shaw scholarship winners and dental benefits with Delta Dental (effective March 1, at no increase in cost).