OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa School Board members brought to an end a 10-year long disagreement regarding the construction of the high school addition. The board met in closed session in Superintendent Russ Reiter’s office for 15 minutes following their regular meeting.
The settlement approved by the board with Story Construction and M&M Concrete came after years of negotiations. The amount and terms of the settlement was not stated at the meeting. Reiter said the dispute with the two companies came as a result of uneven floors in the high school addition.
Details of the settlement, which is public record, is to be made available for public inquiry sometime Wednesday. Discussions with the companies and their representatives over the past years had not been as productive as those in the past year. Reiter said he was glad to see this mutual release and settlement agreement close this project.
Board members were disappointed to hear no bids had been received for the Building and Trades recently constructed home on South M Street. According to information from Reiter, there were some individuals who showed interest, but did not turn in bids by the due date. In actuality no bids were received.
“I believe Mr. (Dave) Brower showed the house three times,” said Reiter. “It is up to the board to decide what to do next.”
Two main options for proceeding were laid out by Reiter. One would be to re-advertise and try to obtain bids. The second would be to visit with realtors to work through the process of advertising and securing a buyer.
Board member Nik Rule asked about hosting another open house and ask the students who built the home to be there for the showing. He also wondered about the use of media and social media outlets. Reiter said the open house idea had merit and should be pursued.
“With school starting we could have some of our students in the business classes work through the processes of how to market a home for sale,” said Reiter.
The board decided to use a multi-faceted approach to securing bids. The house will be re-advertised, an open house scheduled and the utilization of media and social media will be employed to gain bids. Bids will be received until the close of business on Friday, Oct. 3, at school attorney’s office of Greg Life, 102 1st Ave. E., Oskaloosa. A minimum bid of $172,500 is required.
Resignation and appointment
Fourth grade teacher Amy Mathewson submitted her resignation effective immediately due to her husband taking an out-of-state position. She had asked the board and superintendent to release her from her contract. Reiter recommended accepting the resignation stating it was not in her best interest to remain here with her husband several hundred miles away.
Chase Webber was hired to replace Mathewson. Webber had done his student teaching in Johnston and had accepted the position pending board approval. Elementary principal Tim Vieseth said Webber will teach fourth grade, but also has a math endorsement. Webber will receive base pay of $34,165.
“He will be a good addition and be the fourth male in the building,” said Vieseth.
Oskaloosa’s newest board member Kraig Van Hulzen echoed that sentiment.
“It is good to have a male in a building dominated by females to handle restroom and locker room supervision,” said Van Hulzen.
Jon Zobel, 1803 N. Third St., appeared before the board inquiring about the results of conversations he had with the band instructors and board president Carl Drost. Zobel said there had been some evening when the high school band was rehearsing across from his home after 9 p.m. Drost referred to Reiter, who stated in addition to the conversations Zobel had with the directors he also spoke to Richard Waddington and Rusty Raymond. Reiter said the band would hold later practices on the old practice field east of the school. Zobel said he appreciated the school working with the neighbors to solve the problem.
Next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m.
In other business:
Approved second reading of board policy 401.13 Acceptable Use Policy for Staff and Volunteers.
Approved renewal of membership with Iowa Association of School Boards with dues of $7,356.