Schools

The board of education of Crescent-Iroquois Community Unit School District #249 conducted a regular meeting Oct. 21, in the board room at Crescent City Grade School. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by board president Steve Massey, with the following responding to roll call: Christi Pheifer, Tim Kollmann, Candi Butzow, Brock Johnson, Jody Niebuhr, Becky Dirks and Massey.

After approving the agenda, the board allowed time for public input.

Board correspondence included the 2019 Resolution Committee report, which covers how school board policies are made. The board received its IASB membership materials, which included a Code of Conduct.

The superintendent’s report was given by Rod Grimsley. In regards to building and grounds, new lights were installed in the CCGS gym. The cost was about $4,000 and Ameren will provide a grant of $2,600 to offset the expense. An Ideal representative member conducted a 6-month asbestos inspection and a bleacher inspection for both schools – Grimsley is expecting those reports sometime this week. The tree on the north side of the building has been trimmed and this will alleviate the clogging of gutters and downspouts. Precision Piping had been at CCGS last week.

There was no transportation report this month. In regard to financials, the second payment of tax money will be coming from the county – hopefully by December. Grimsley is still working on approval of the Consolidated District Plan and ESEA grant – both have had a few revisions made.

The principal’s report, compiled by Tim DeMay, stated enrollment at CCGS is now at 78. There are seven kindergarten students, 10 first graders, 14 second graders, six third graders, seven students each in fourth and fifth graders, six sixth graders, 12 seventh graders and seven eighth graders. The cross country team, coached by Heather Johnson, completed its season. The final event was the state competition on Oct. 19 in which Haven Meyer was a participant.

There will be 11 boys on the basketball team, to be coached by Monroe “MoTo” Johnson. His team will include three fifth graders, two sixth graders, four seventh graders and two eighth graders, with the first practice set for Oct. 28. In regards to girls’ basketball, the 8th grade squad stands at 4-3 on the season and the 7th graders are at 1-3. Currently there is an issue with the Nov. 5 home game as it conflicts with the opposing team’s schedule.

There are still two positions which need to be filled: a band/choir instructor and a track coach. DeMay’s report noted the new lights in the gym and informed the board of the work Dennis Ritzma has done at both buildings. All staff members attended a very informative institute at Iroquois-West junior high, sponsored by the ISEA, on Oct.11. There is no school Friday, Oct. 25.

The main topic of Monday’s meeting centered on the report of the Building Committee from a meeting conducted Oct. 16. Board members on this committee are Johnson and Butzow, and the meeting was attended by nine community members. The 10-year life health safety report for CCGS was discussed and decisions were made in regards on how to get the violations fixed.

The health life safety report for Crescent-Iroquois High School was discussed at the meeting and it was announced it would take $1,470,000 to fix all violations. After discussion, those attending the Building Committee meeting concluded the building will have to be closed. It has come to the realization there are two options for CIHS: Either sell the building or have it razed. Concerns from the meeting were the building may be sold and then left to deteriorate and become an eyesore in the future.

The estimated cost of demolition for CIHS was given at $400,000, but it is considered to be a very low estimate and the board expects that cost to be higher. Butzow reported the district cannot bond enough to cover the costs of repairs but would be able to bond the cost of demolition.

Due to the condition of the high school, the building will have to be closed so it will not be available for school functions next year. This brought the board back to discussing ways to get the CCGS gym updated to allow athletics there. Grimsley reported some of the information he was given and board members were inspired by the things that can be done in the gym to bring it up to standards for sports.

Concluding discussions on the future of CIHS were to set up a meeting to encourage input from the general public so the board has an opportunity to explain the problems there and get ideas on how the community wants to prepare for the future of the school district. Board members did throw around some ideas but these will need to be discussed more in-depth to see which are feasible and which are not.

The January and February meeting dates were holidays, so those were changed to the second Monday of the month. January’s meeting will be on the 13th, and the February meeting will be on the 10th.

The board approved the minutes of the regular meeting conducted Sept. 23, the treasurer’s report dated Sept. 30, the payment of bills dated Oct. 21, the Imprest fund and petty cash reports of September. Also approved was the destruction of audio tapes older than February 2017 and the first reading of Press Plus issues 99-101. It was noted the last item will looked into at the board policy meeting. The board also approved the 10-Year Health Life Safety audit dated Jan. 22, 2019.

Dennis Ritzma was hired by the board to serve as a part-time maintenance employee. If needed, he can attend asbestos classes – there’s an 8-hour class and a two-day course.

The board adjourned into an executive session at 8:29 p.m. to discuss collective negotiating matters between the district and its employees, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees.

Following the executive session, the board reconvened the regular meeting and then adjourned. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 18. Board meetings take place in the board room, which is the former music room.