By TRICIA HILL
While some are rushing to sign a petition to stop the $10 million borrowing resolution for school improvements, the Boscobel School Board is trying to move forward to get another generation out of their current facilities.
Ray and Barbara Nickiel attended Tuesday night’s monthly board meeting in search of answers to their questions, the main one being as to why the board was pushing to borrow $10 million versus going to referendum?
“The law specifically created this ACT 32 to make the referendum exempt in a situation such as this,” President Todd Miller said.
The $10 million that the board wants to borrow is in a worse case scenario. They currently have a list of things available that the school would like to see fixed or worked on with the money and it is estimated around $7.8 million.
“We are asking for $10 so we don’t have to come back and ask for more money if we were to need it,” Miller said.
If anyone is still looking for more information on the ACT 32 work that the school would like to see done to their three buildings, they invite the community to go to Steve Wacker in the District Office to receive the detailed list of the projects and some answers to some of the concerns that the community maybe having.
“Mr. Wacker has the lists on the rules, regulations, and policies,” Miller said. “He will also be able to show you what we’re after and why we’re after it. He also has a list of what specifically the $7.8 million will cover. “He can get you that list tomorrow if you’re interested in seeing it,” Miller said.
Carol Roth of Starfish Constulting returned to the board meeting and was asked by the board how much it would cost for her to write the PEP Grant for the school. The total cost was to be $4,500 and that is due to all the work that needs to be done for this specific grant. The school district would have to pay half down at the beginning and the rest when the grant is finished.
“You only pay for the services that are provided. Some companies receive a percentage if you get funded, but that is not what I believe is the correct thing to do,” Roth said.
This is a detailed grant that will require a lot of attention. Even though Roth would be writing the story, the school will be providing the information. Roth wanted the board to understand before going into the writing of the PEP Grant, that there are things they will need including: a project manager and storage space for the equipment.
There is no guarantee that the school will get the grant, but if they were to receive the grant, they would be looking at approximately $1.2 million over three years. So far it looks to Roth that the federal government is going to funding 95 grants throughout the United States.
“That could vary on the size of the grants and the districts that apply,” Roth said.
As other schools have received this grant surrounding Boscobel such as Lancaster, Riverdale, North Crawford and Cuba City, the board decided to take some time and talk to those to schools to see how they are handling the storage situation. The board doesn’t want to get the grant and then be stuck with no place to put all the equipment they would be purchasing.
“I just don’t want to see us get this equipment and then not be able to use it in the end,” board member Chuck Owens said.
High School Counselor brought to the attention of the board the possibility of adding the Wisconsin Technical Excellence Scholarship to Boscobel’s long list of scholarships.
The scholarship would be rewarded to an eligible senior that is planning for a technical career. Evidence will be required such as the student must have an academic and career plan leading to a technical career and the school counselor or high school principal must affirm the candidates post-secondary plans related to a technical career.
The candidates will be ranked based on the following point system reflective of course work and technical education experience. One point will be given to a student for each credit earned in high school in CTE or Career and Technical Education courses. There will be other criteria that will be award points to the student. At the end of the year, the student with the most points will be awarded the Scholarship, which will give the student $2,250 every three years they are in school.
“This could be the answer to our conversation we had two months ago about trying to get the drive back into that end of the hallway,” Miller said.
The board approved to add the scholarship to their long list of scholarships in hopes that it would possibly get students more interested in taking some of the classes offered such as Metals.
The board made the decision to send a letter to DPI asking for an Emergency Administrative License to be used by new high school Principal Rodney Lewis for the remainder of the school year. This will buy the board time to decide what they are going to do for the 2015-16 school year as far as having a super intendant.