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Hancock school construction is on schedule

Despite the weather, construction at the school is nearly right on schedule and so far, there have been only a few glitches along the way. How much these unforeseen problems will cost is still not certain, however there is an adequate amount of money in the contingency fund to cover these added expenses.

The Hancock School board listened to a building construction update at their meeting on Monday night and also toured the old high school building and new wing, both in the midst of the construction work. The board members learned that the floor tiles in the high school would be covered with Armorcoat to seal them since these have an asbestos mat underneath that was not found prior to construction. The expected extra cost for this sealing is $13,000.

The cabinets in the science room were originally planned to be refinished and left in place. However, plumbers need to access pipes under the cabinets so they will be removed carefully, refinished and replaced in the room. This will probably add to the cabinetry costs.

The north and south classroom walls on the west side of the second floor were found to be support walls. New support beams will be placed so that the walls can be removed. This was another unforeseen project and cost for the extra beams.

Other work in progress is roofing, tile removal, plumbing, masonry and cabinetry. Once the roofing is complete, the floors will be poured in the new addition, perhaps around June 24. Painting will begin in some areas after masonry work has been completed.

Board members asked if the construction was to the point yet where there would be no more surprises. There is no way to be certain but things are now down to the bare bones so some of the most obvious problems should be visible.

Through all the noise and dust, the work is progressing nicely and barring any major problems, should be completed on schedule, which is around Aug. 18. At that point, volunteer help from the community may be needed to move things back into classrooms in preparation for the first day of school.

Enrollment projections were also presented to the board for that first day. Four more open enrollment requests were approved to bring the estimated first day number to 294. Principal Tim Pahl stated that he had two more open enrollments that simply have to return the paperwork making the number 296. However, there still may be more changes both up and down before the first day. All six of these open enrollees are in the elementary grades, one in kindergarten, two in second grade, one in third grade and two in fifth grade.

Other business

* Kierstin Nygaard was approved as the junior high volleyball coach for next year.

* The fuel bid from Hancock Co-op was approved and was the only bid submitted.

* The board members reviewed a list of buses and vans and tabled action on any replacements until next year.

* The compressor unit in the walk-in freezer in the kitchen has been causing problems. The cost difference between repairing it and replacing it was only $200 so the board approved its replacement.

* Mackensie Rohloff was approved as the adult activity director for Community Ed next year.

* After a closed session to deliberate negotiations, the contracts for Supt. Jerry Martinson, Prin. Tim Pahl and Business Manager Lori Razink were approved. Also approved were the contract terms for head bus driver.

*Foundation grant requests were approved in the amount of $4,269.98 A portion of this was for iPads in primary grades and the high school English room.

* The insurance renewal was approved for new year with a $5,000 increase.

* Donations were approved from the Hancock Firemen’s Relief Association and from the silent auction sales of unused equipment.