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Waterloo school board study renovation options

March 14, 2018 GMT

WATERLOO -- A Waterloo School District and FEH Design referendum design charrette workshop summary was presented by Kevin Eipperle, principal in charge of FEH Design, to the Waterloo school board during Monday’s regular school board meeting.

During the January regular school board meeting, FEH Design was approved for architectural services related to Waterloo School District facilities and maintenance items being considered for a referendum.

Eipperle, who has worked with school districts for more than 30 years and has been involved in completing more than 600 projects in eight states, has met with school staff to discuss changes, improvement and concerns regarding the current school building which houses elementary, intermediate-middle and high school students and staff.

The design charrette workshop was held as a planning session where designers, citizens and visitors collaborated on a vision for future Waterloo School District development. It provided a forum for ideas and immediate feedback was given to designers which allowed those in attendance to participate as “mutual authors” of the plan.

Presenting via Skype, Eipperle noted that several concept options were presented to those in attendance with the option labeled “C.1” receiving 24 votes.

The C.1 option would include the renovation and addition of new restrooms, increased storage areas, improvements to storm water conditions, changes to the bus lanes, an auditorium, a gymnasium, improvements to the existing fitness area and student commons and a designated area for wrestling equipment.

A referendum survey is currently being drafted by the Waterloo School Board and further discussion and approval are expected later this week.

On Friday, high-level budget figures will be available and will be included in the referendum survey. Currently the plan is to have the referendum survey completed and distributed by the end of the month.

In other business, Waterloo School District Administrator Brian Henning presented information to the board on the National School Walkout Day that will take place on Wednesday.

“Because we have such great students that are respectful and really want to get involved with this, they approached the administration wondering how they could do this and exercise their rights to speak up and show their support for school safety,” Henning said noting that students also want to be respectful of the school rules and procedures.

On Wednesday at 10 a.m., high school students that have permission to participate in the National School Walkout Day can leave their classroom and go to the high school cafeteria. Students will be able to talk about school safety during the 17-minute walkout which is being held in remembrance of the 17 lives lost in the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla. school shooting.

In other business, Waterloo Elementary School Principal, Maureen Adams presented information to the board on the Battle of the Books competition that was recently held in the elementary school.

This is the fourth year of the BOB competition and the Waterloo Parent Teacher Organization has funded books, medals and participation ribbons for the participants.

In the four years of competition, more than 100 teams have competed in 400 book battles consisting of more than 8,000 questions.

This year, 30 teams consisting of 135 elementary school students read designated books, kept reading logs and answered a variety of questions about plots, characters and authors during the competition.

The final BOB competition was held on March 9 with the Ultimate Readers declared the overall winners. Ultimate Readers team members included Hunter Sornson, Ryder Jaehnke, Annora Karcher and Madisyn Albrecht.

“It was a dream match. It had all the characteristics that we like to see to make it exciting for those people that are watching,” Adams said in regards to the final battle between the KFC Stone Readers and the Ultimate Readers. “It got down to the final question and the Ultimate Readers won.”

In other business, information regarding the 2018 summer school program was presented by Dr. Shannon Karcher, pupil services director, to the board.

Two 12-day summer school sessions will be held with the first taking place June 11-28 and the second July 9-26. All sessions will be held 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and busing and lunch will be provided to students. No sessions will be held on Fridays or the week of July 4.

Currently, 210 students are registered for session one and 155 students are registered for session two. Teachers and staff will be assigned to summer school positions over spring break.

“Once parents realized how the format was, we see that more parents are signing their kids up for summer school. A lot of families like the four day (schedule) with Fridays off and that week off of July 4,” Karcher said.

In other business, the board:

-- Approved the Feb. 12 regular meeting minutes.

-- With the exception of an abstaining vote by Area One Director, Karen Stangler, approved the March 5 special and closed session meeting minutes.

-- Approved the administration reorganization of a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade principal, a ninth- through 12th-grade principal, a pupil services/special education director and a dean of students.

The suggestion for the administration reorganization was presented as Adams will be retiring at the end of the 2017-18 school year and Karcher will be leaving her position effective June 30.

Board members indicated that any additional scenarios for an administration reorganization will also be considered.

-- Approved the hiring of Josh Davison, assistant track coach effective March 12.

-- Approved a foreign exchange student request for Angela and Chad Byers-Krantz for the 2018-19 school year.

-- Approved Karen Weihert and Carleen Benninger as canvassers for the April 3 election and set a canvassing meeting date for April 10 at 9 a.m.

-- Approved the 2018-19 first semester early college credit program course requests.

-- Approved a CESA 5 contract with the Waterloo School District.

-- Approved the second readings of the following policies: selection of textbooks and other classroom instructional materials and resources, library media center material selection and reconsideration, technology for students with special needs, student fundraising activities, school wellness policy and school wellness plan.

-- Approved a May 30 school board meeting to discuss referendum issues.

With the exception of Treasurer, Jenifer Quimby; and Area 3 Director, Jim Setz, all school board members were present. The next regular meeting will be held April 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.