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Update provided on facilities upgrade at Van-Far R-I District

Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 9:38 am

Representatives from USI, a national insurance brokerage company, presented board members with information on the South Central Education Consortium.

Representatives from USI, a national insurance brokerage company, presented board members with information on the South Central Education Consortium.

Van-Far Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hunter provided the School Board with a facilities update during the meeting held last Thursday night.
It was noted that bids for the construction and parking lot projects are due March 24.
A special board meeting will be held on March 25 at 6 p.m. to review the bids and alternates.
Four contractors attended the pre-bid meeting for the remodeling/abatement and two contractors attended for the parking lot. There were others who expressed interest, but did not attend the pre-bid meeting.
Currently, the majority of the construction project is complete with some minor things left to take care of.
During the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Hunter discussed a “punch-list” of items.
One concern included the hinges on the exterior doors of the Elementary School. Officials are not satisfied with them as they are there for long-term use.
Another concern involved the new door frames at the high school having paint peeling in spots. Caulking is noted in a few places. It is expected that the contractor will be at the district soon to discuss the items.
Other concerns were expressed regarding the indoor air quality of the high school.
According to meeting minutes, tests were performed and there are no building issues.  It was determined that there are some areas that need to be cleaned and some unused items in closets and on shelves that need to be disposed of.  Ryan Morris also reported that they had suggestions to improve the air movement in the building, especially during breaks and the summer.
Pipe repairs have been made in the high school and are working as the leak is repaired. Some insulation work remains. The pipe repairs will also help with air quality concerns.
Superintendent Dr. Hunter also reported a current enrollment of 614 students with 260 in the Jr./Sr. High School and 354 in the Elementary School.
Insurance discussion
Representatives from USI – Dean Eggerding, President, and Lonnie Thompson, Director of Consortium Strategies and retired Superintendent, made a presentation to the board. USI is a national insurance brokerage company providing employee benefits to smaller school districts. They presented information on the South Central Education Consortium, a self-funded group.  Four area schools currently participate in this consortium.  They provided comparisons of current coverage offerings and their options. They will have up-to-date cost information within the next month. Superintendent Dr. Hunter would like for them to return and meet with the staff to go over their coverage options.
2016-17 School
The board tentatively approved the 2016-17 Calendar with a start date of August 23, 2016 and a back-up start date of August 30, 2016 due to possible construction project issues.

Read the rest of the story in our February 24 issue or purchase an electronic edition copy at