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The school board meeting was full as new staff members and teachers were welcomed and introduced to the board members.

The Grantsburg School Board meeting Monday night began with a new staff welcome reception. There were refreshments and snacks provided to those that came. Each new staff member of the district, brick-and-mortar and iForward, each took their turns standing up and introducing themselves. They are all very excited to begin their adventure in Grantsburg and with iForward.

After the board members introduced themselves to the new staff, Dave Dahlberg, the board president, welcomed them all to the district and wished them a long and successful career in Grantsburg.

A big discussion at the meeting was with the team of Kraus Anderson. They brought their materials and a presentation to go over their findings of the facility study that was conducted during the 2018/19 school year. John Huenink, who is the Vice President at Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, took the lead on reporting their findings.

“For us to sit here and hear new hires and some of your goals- that’s why you do it. You’re the heartbeat of the community, especially in Grantsburg,” Huenink said about having the facility study done at the district.

During the facility study, the Kraus-Anderson team looked at each of the buildings’ maintenance, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards and building codes, the grounds, athletic fields, parking lots, lighting, electrical, educational adequacy, etcetera.

Huenink described, in short, their findings at each of the school buildings and what they thought could be fixed, upgraded or renewed. As an example, for the Nelson School building:

“Secured entrance, we feel there is opportunity for improvement. Playground, breakout learning areas, group learning areas, special ed space needs, life safety and security, indoor air quality to bring the building up to today’s codes and standards, LED lighting,” Huenink went on to state that the modular building has also lived its useful life.

The rest of the building’s facility studies were also gone through, explaining a few of their bigger issues that should be addressed in the future. He went on to explain that these issues are organized into priority one, two and three categories. In terms of interiors, accessibility, ADA, exterior, roofs, site, electrical and mechanical needs within the district’s buildings, there is nearly $14 million of priority one needs alone.

Huenink explained to the board that he is not recommending that they go out and ask for a referendum of $14 million, but that there will be a task force of staff and community members to go through the list of priority one needs and better narrow it down to see what exactly they really want to have fixed. “Maybe come up with a 10-year plan on how to address a lot of these needs, because we haven’t even touched the educational adequacy side of things yet.”

Now that the facility studies are complete, the next step is to put together that task force (a group of 20-50 members) to analyze the information from the study and prioritize the needs. Kraus-Anderson recommends also doing a survey with the community to receive their input on the needs and what they think should be a priority.

In other items:

  • Katie Johnson’ resignation from the high school Spanish position was approved.
  • Lisa Thom’s resignation from the middle school counselor position was approved.
  • Lara Lerud’s resignation from the assistant gymnastics’ coach position was approved.
  • Cassandra Henderson was approved to be hired as the district office’s accounts payable/administrative assistant.
  • Sally Lahners was approved to be hired as the middle school interventionist.