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The Clark County R-1 School District will be purchasing three new electric school buses, with the help of an EPA grant. The buses cost $375,000 each, and will be completely funded by the EPA grant. In addition, the district will receive $20,000 per bus for charging stations. Since the charging stations cost less than that, the district will have funds to pay for wiring and installation.
The buses will charge between 10:00pm and 6:00am, when rates are the lowest.
One bus will be used to shuttle students from building to building in Kahoka, while the other two will be used for some of the district’s shorter routes. Because of the length of the bus routes, and the fact that several drivers keep their buses at home and start their routes from home, it is not likely that the district would be able to use many more electric buses in the future.
The district chose LION Electric for their buses. Knox County R-1 has several LION buses in service, and CCR-1 Superintendent Dr. Ritchie Kracht said Knox County Superintendent Andy Turgeon recommends LION.
“I trust Andy more than a salesman,” Kracht joked.
Board members expressed concern about the range of the buses, which is only about 100-125 miles, as well as service and replacement battery costs.
“If we have to, we can just park them,” Kracht said. “They aren’t costing us anything.”
At their Thursday, March 9 meeting, the board voted to approve the purchase.
Kracht expects the new buses to be delivered in about six months.
The board also discussed HVAC problems at the Indian Pride Learning Center. The school, which is only five years old, has had several problems with the HVAC system. Several compressors have failed, and eight currently need replacement. Although the parts are still under warranty, labor is not, so the district has been forced to spend a lot of money on repairs.
“We’ve had issues with these Daikin units at the Middle School,” Kracht said. “We don’t really have a choice but to fix them.”
The board agreed to a bid of $41,763 to replace the compressors and other parts. The cost also included a one-year service contract which will see the units inspect twice yearly, and provide maintenance on the cooling towers.
The board considered bids for the removal of the cement fountain areas at Black Hawk and Running Fox. Bash Concrete’s bid for the removal was $11,000, and Vince Green’s bid was $12,025. The board accepted the low bid from Bash.
There were two pavement repair bids for Black Hawk and Running Fox. Peterson Asphalt’s bid was $25,050, while Meyer’s bid was $84,783. The board accepted the low bid.
The board considered two Building Trades projects for next year.
The first proposed project is new construction of a ranch-style home. The bidders are Quentin Hamner and Fred and Michelle Bouchard. The other project is for the remodeling of the ground floor of the building the Building Trades classes are currently working on located on West Main. That project is owned by Shay Winters.
The board voted 4-3 to accept the new construction project by Hamner and Bouchard. The owners will pay the district $19,000.
“They’ll have a good chance of completing this project,” Kracht said.
Kracht reported that staff health insurance would not have an increase in the next school year.
“That’s huge for us,” he told board members.
The board heard a report from the new OPAA! Foood Service Director Mindy Hanson. Hanson discussed several recent inspections that they have passed, and some of the programs and menus they are trying.
The board also voted to extend the OPAA! contract for an additional year.
Running Fox Principal Heather Holsted reported the Summer School will run 20 days from May 24 to June 21, and will have a camping theme.
In other business, the board:
•Approved an overnight trip to the FFA State Convention.
•Approved an FFA trip to the Washington DC Leadership Conference.
•Approved and FBLA overnight trip for state contest.
•Approved and IMS Cloud Storage contract.
•Discussed a situation on Thursday where a bus driver quit in the middle of his route, and returned approximately 25 students to school.
•Hired Emma Neslon for High School Math
•Hired Haylee Brotherton for Elementary classroom
•Hired Corbin Harper for Elementary Classroom and MS Basketball
•Hired Andrea Brandon for Elementary Art
•Approved Debbie Otte’s retirement
•Nancy Trump and Ann Dever will become half-time Title Math teachers
•Alex Mitchell resigned has HS Biology teacher
•Emily Justice resigned as Dance Coach
•The district is still looking for a HS Biology and an Elementary teacher.
•Set March 28 meeting to review non-tenured teachers and sponsors.