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Library furniture takes top seat in school board discussion
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DARLINGTON – The Darlington School Board of Education discussed the library furniture cost at their meeting, Monday night, May 15.
School Board president Aaron Wolfe started the conversation by explaining a cost matrix the district received in March from Hoffman, Planning, Design and Construction, Inc. pertaining to their projects in the woods shop, metal shop, art room, Tech. Ed. wing and the library.
On the library project, some of what is going to be done will be done by McKinstry under the Act 32 project. Hoffman gave the school board an estimate of $62,415 for work done in the library, not including furniture. That number will change as the board added some things such as a second collaboration room and some of the ceiling work that isn’t being done by McKinstry. The furniture cost is looking to be about $69,000. The stacks have already been ordered and cost around $30,000, which came out of this year’s budget. Bids on the project are due back by May 23.
The library will include two collaboration rooms for students to work together as a group and not be disturbed or disturb others, a presentation area, stacks where books will be kept, a café, which will include a seating area, counter space and a sink with the possibility of a coffee machine, and plenty of space for tables and chairs for students to sit and use the chromebooks at or work on other projects. Board members stated they have heard concern over the café part of the library project and District Administrator Denise Wellnitz stated that it was one of the cheapest parts of the library because the furnishings are downscaled and there is linoleum flooring instead of carpeting
Board members were concerned that the project for the library was going to be over the approved number not to exceed $150,000.
“My concern is that we are going to be way over the $150,000 in the library portion. I would do all the work first and see what we have left for furniture. If it’s going to be over $150,000 we need to discuss it as a board,” Matt Wilson stated.
Wilson also added that he is one hundred percent in favor of the project but he does not want to double the amount that was estimated.
Wolfe asked if the furniture would not be ordered that night, how long could they wait to make sure it arrives on time for the beginning of school. Wellnitz stated they are currently pushing their limits.
“Kids are excited to have it done by next school year. I am looking forward to having a presentation area in the high school so we don’t always have to come to DEMS to use the large group room,” Wellnitz explained.
Nick Zuberbuhler understood that not ordering the furniture until after May 23 could put the school in jeopardy of not having anything for the next school year but felt more comfortable to have another meeting.
“I’d have another meeting rather than be backed into a corner and not be able to pay for it. When you buy a house, you don’t buy your furniture first; you see what you have and go from there,” Zuberbuhler said.
“We won’t know anything until after the bids,” Joe Schilling agreed. “If we go over the $150,000, that is too much.”
The board agreed to table the discussion until a special meeting on Wednesday, May 24 at 6 p.m. to review the bids.
Other business
The Darlington Board of education also approved/accepted:
-the resale of welding equipment for the best offer and circulation computers at $75 a piece.
-a donation from the Touchdown Club for $738.88 toward a laptop for the football program.
-a donation of $3,684 from the Sieg Foundation for two basketball hoops, for the DEMS playgrounds.
-the 2017 Summer School Program