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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • YME School Board hires architect to address Bert Raney traffic concerns

  • Also approved one year contract extension for Stoeckman
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    Safety concerns took center stage at the school board meeting Monday night, amidst growing concerns about the congested, unsafe traffic near Bert Raney Elementary as well as public access to the schools being distant from the offices.
    The board approved the motion to hire Studio E, an architectural from Glenwood, to design a new office for the elementary school next to the entrance that all visitors would have to pass through before having access to the rest of the school
    “I would like to start working with an architect, building a relationship and familiarity with our campus, so YME could continue going back for help with any future projects,” Superintendent Al Stoeckman said as a recommendation to the board before the vote.
    The $13,750 deal with Studio E also insured a follow through on implementing the designs they come up with, including a new bus lane and student drop off for parents around BRE.
    Stoeckman also shopped for quotes or proposals on the greenhouse classroom, but due to a higher-than-expected cost, the board didn’t rush to make any decisions. The two returned quotes were $11,250 from Studio E and $26,000 from GLT, a firm based out of St. Cloud.
    Special Meeting
    The board also met on Monday, January 6 to expedite the bond sale for the remainder of the project payment to ESG Honeywell that was put on hold due to the lawsuit settled in 2013.
    “We met to get the bond sold as soon as possible ... and realize the money by next week instead of even later,” Stoeckman said. “All the contractors have been paid, all the other expenses, but [ESG] was willing to wait until the lawsuit was settled, and I give my appreciation for them to wait – they didn’t even charge us interest.”
    The $730,000 in bonds were sold to the lowest bidder out of five possible options, which was the Granite Falls Bank.
    In other news:
    • The Superintendent contract for Al Stoeckman was approved by the board for one more year. His salary and benefits would remain at the level set in 2010 and run from July 1st of this year to June 30th, 2015.
    Stoeckman also agreed to help with the new leadership transition.
    “He offered a lot of concessions for the betterment of the school,” said Tim Opdahl, a member of the Negotiations Committee. “Staying on to help find his replacement? That’s huge”
    •During the Superintendent’s Report, Stoeckman announced that the two missed days of school due to frigid temperatures from last week would not have to be made up.
    Page 2 of 2 - The two missed days did not conflict with the 165 instructional days required for YME students.
    • Two members of the public spoke in front of the board. Michelle Vavrika addressed the Board regarding nutrition, followed by David Vikander, who addressed the Board regarding the athletic programs at YME.
    • The board closed the meeting to the public for a Negotiations meeting.

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