The Southern Humboldt Unified School District Board met in a special meeting on Thursday, June 7, to approve several items that would enable construction to begin on the first phase of the Redway School building improvement project provided by Measure L bond funding. The board needed to approve the lease/leaseback agreement, contractor's guaranteed maximum and notice to proceed so the contractor, Dinsmore Construction Company of Fortuna, can secure the insurance bond necessary to begin work. Timing is essential and the agreement is for completion of the first phase of the work in 273 days. Work will start this week.
Present at the board meeting for the discussion were Dave Taylor and Kevin Teddor of Semingson Architects, Inc., of Cottonwood, CA. District board president Dennis O'Sullivan noted that they are the ones who will be overseeing all aspects of the day-to-day work on the project.
The contract with Dinsmore Construction was finalized recently.
O'Sullivan pointed out that a large percentage of the subcontractors for the Redway Elementary School project are local contractors, or from Humboldt County. They were the lowest bidders, too.
The lease/leaseback agreement that the district has chosen is a win-win situation, O'Sullivan said, because everything is upfront and spelled out.
Kevin Teddor explained that after the construction of the new student services building, the students will be moved there and work can begin on the portables. Some discussion followed about demolition versus moving or even selling the existing portables and Teddor will look into it.
By the end of next summer there will be an improved parking lot.
After the first phase, the modernization of existing buildings will begin, moving students from each wing and working on the buildings in rotation.
The nature area has significance to members of the community, but in a later phase there will be modification to the nature area since the location of the existing Head Start building, which belongs to Head Start, necessitates school classroom additions encroaching into the play area. The play area will be pushed out into the nature area and the two will be combined. Taylor is willing to meet with Head Start and see how their plans coincide with the district's. There may be federal grants available for Head Start to move their buildings closer together. The bond measure's language provides for moving facilities and reconstituting buildings on the school site, and cost savings could be shared with Head Start for the reconfiguration. This would eliminate the need for a costly retaining wall and simplify the Redway School project. This needs to be decided soon so the project can be designed.
Approval was required on the contract, which is three separate documents that are all integral to how the project works. The guaranteed maximum price for phase one of the project is $1,693,074. Phase one consists of the Redway student services building, removal of B wing and site work.
The motion to approve was passed unanimously by the board so work on Redway School is moving forward.
Taylor is working on the specifics of the middle school project at South Fork High School, which is about 30 days behind this one. There will need to be another special board meeting in July to finalize approval for that project.
Superintendent Stewart then discussed student, parents' and staff's concerns regarding asbestos floor tiles at South Fork High School. Summer is the ideal time to have the deteriorating tiles removed, but the floors will then have to be bare concrete until the modernization project begins. Contractors have bid on the abatement process and a low bid by Infinity Abatement Services from Oregon was chosen. It is a very involved process but deemed necessary for health reasons. South Fork teachers and staff are aware that there may be some aesthetic discomfort for a while but they want it done soon, too. When it is done, you could eat off the floor, according to Teddor.
Discussion ensued about some of the details, such as disposal of the asbestos tiles, trip zones and hazards which will be assessed by risk assessment, and the board approved moving forward with this project to be done in the entire C wing and classrooms 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the B wing at South Fork.
For the principal's report for the South Fork Senior/Junior High School, superintendent Stewart presented a table indicating the projected teaching assignments at South Fork with the necessary small school funding formula providing for 10 teachers teaching five classes of core academic subjects. Special ed is not part of those. Regional occupation classes are uncertain until July when the district finds out about the ROP funding. Community support from CIA and Save Our Schools Foundation have made it possible to continue some of the art and performing arts classes. It appears that some of the March 15 pink slips can be rescinded at the June 21 board meeting.
Another item on the agenda was the request for transportation service by the Mateel Community Center for festivals, the Garberville Chamber of Commerce and the Ross/Sher wedding. This led to discussions about the benefits to the district and drivers but brought up several issues to be considered. There were concerns about insurance liability, dogs on the bus, overcrowding, and whether the funds generated were discretionary or only for transportation. Superintendent Stewart said that he would do the research about the issues raised and the board passed the transportation request item, with board member Thomas Mulder saying that he wanted the district's policies followed.
Since the next school board meeting will be taken up with the budget, several other items were placed on the agenda of the special meeting.
There was little discussion before approval to update as required every three years the Joint Education Service Plan to serve expelled students within Humboldt County. This includes agreements with local community school programs so that expelled students can continue their education.
The personnel report required the board to accept the resignation of associate superintendent/principal Julie Johansen and Whitethorn teacher, Shelby Messenger. Andrew Olsen, athletic director of South Fork was classified effective July 1.
Other agenda items included designating incoming district superintendent Catherine Scott as the Special Education Local Plan Area policy council representative and North Coast School Medical Insurance Group representative for the Southern Humboldt Unified School District effective July 1.
Athletic director Andrew Olsen was recommended as the district's representative to the CIF/Humboldt-Del Norte League.
The Select School Innovations & Advocacy contract was renewed. They have provided excellent and comprehensive support for the staff in claiming reimbursable costs under Article Xlll (b) section 4 of the California Constitution.
The board also voted to accept and approve the proposed allocation in LEA/Medi-Cal funds and the funds for Casterlin School that they did not receive in the 2011-2012 school year. Superintendent Stewart said that Julie Johansen wanted to clarify that the cost of the coordinator and the office assistant come off the top of the estimated $85,000 before distribution of the remainder of the funds to the individual sites. At the April board meeting the trustees voted to allocate the funding in an equitable manner to each site at 70% academics, 20% health services, 5% youth development and 5% family support.
The next regular board meeting will be on Thursday, June 21 at Redway School at 4:30 p.m. The budget will be discussed.
REDWOOD TIMES PHOTO BY MARY ANDERSON
The students of Redway School gathered on the field behind the school on Thursday, June 7, to watch the principal, Julie Johansen, wield the ceremonial shovel at a groundbreaking ceremony to signify the beginning of construction on the new Student Services Building. The construction is expected to begin on Tuesday, June 12 and, as the sign says, is made possible by the passage of Measure L bond initiative.