THE WIND DID WHAT — Monday the wind was so bad and blew so hard it turned this wooden trailer over a car at Blue Sky Villa. I-O Photo by Pat Lee
“We are fortunate in Conrad to have such great facilities,” says Conrad Superintendent of Schools Craig Barringer.
He notes that the maintenance crew(s) have done an outstanding job over the years of keeping our four buildings in good shape.
The last decade has brought many changes to education. This has a major impact on the facilities and the need to keep pace with the physical changes. When the buildings were originally built, safety and technological needs were never considered.
Recent tragedies in other schools have made the school district review their facilities to better secure them and minimize the chance these events would happen in our school. Also, changes in expectations of student achievement and testing forces us to update our technological infrastructure and hardware to meet the educational demands.
The average age of the school buildings in our district is 67 years.
“In order to continue maintaining these facilities ensuring our buildings meet the present day needs, for student learning and safety, we are running Building Reserve Levies in each district,’ Barringer said.
The school district will be asking voters to support a $500,000 Building Reserve Levy in the Elementary District and a $250,000 Building Reserve Levy in the High School District.
These funds will go to upgrade security at all buildings, particularly the high school; upgrade technology in all buildings and other energy efficient projects.
The Meadowlark School will see a minor facelift to allow more natural lighting and fresh air into the classrooms, and to redo the roof. The update on the roof will be preventative and will ensure the current roof will last for the next 20 years. The roof was completely rebuilt in 1998. These improvements are a great investment in the learning environment and to the energy efficiency to the 60 year old facility.
At the high school plans call for an update in security issues. There are almost 20 entrances to the building.
Our goal is to try to track traffic in the insignificant entries.
“We will also use a portion of the Building Reserve funds to replace the bleachers on the football field,” Barringer said. The bleachers were built in the late 1970s and they are at the point where we can no longer do the minor repairs they require. The new bleachers will meet present safety codes and will be handicapped accessible.
The District will not run a General Fund Levy request in the Elementary District. However, a small General Fund Levy will be requested in the high school. “We will be requesting an additional seven mills ($54,000) for that,” Barringer said.
There will not be a Trustee Election, because appointed member Becky Rammell, was the only person to file for the three year seat. By law, she can be elected by acclamation.
The trustees of the public schools will hold the school levy election on May 7. Voters may cast their ballots in the CHS commons at the high school, 308 S. Illinois from noon to 8 p.m.