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By Caroline Downs
Kenmare voters returned two incumbents to the local school board in an election held June 11th.
School board members approved the election results during a meeting held June 11th. Only 66 ballots were cast in the election, held at Kenmare High School.
For the at-large position on the board, Craig Ellsworth was re-elected to another three-year term, with 55 votes. Challenger Rebecca Standard received 11 votes in the contest.
Lars Christensen won re-election to the rural at-large seat on the board with 62 votes. Former board member David King received one write-in vote.
Public info meeting
July 16 for school
The Kenmare School Board will hold its first public information meeting about the proposed addition of a gymnasium and classroom space at Kenmare High School on Tuesday, July 16th, at 7 pm.
Board members will take comments and answer questions about the proposed project. Floor plans for the addition will be available for viewing and discussion.
The proposal would add a second gymnasium and associated locker rooms to the north side of the existing gymnasium at Kenmare High School, with classroom space for an elementary school built on the northeast side of the new gym.
If approved by voters later this year, the proposal would add just over 19,000 square feet of gymnasium and related construction to the existing building, with approximately 22,400 square feet added as classroom and related space for the elementary portion of the building.
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company representatives, serving as the construction management team for the project, have estimated a total cost of $13 million for the project.
In other business:
•Board members approved minutes of the previous meeting and the district’s bills for payment as presented, with the exception of the bill for contracted services with Honeywell. The board expressed an interest in reconsidering the Honeywell contract, which is renewed annually, in light of the new electric furnace installation scheduled for Kenmare High School and the new electric heating units already installed at Kenmare Elementary School.
•Kenmare School District business manager Renae Murphy said she intended to pay for both new mini-buses and half of the new computers ordered with funds from the interim balance. She noted the cost of the two mini-buses to the district would be $83,700, after the trade-in value received.
•Murphy reported she expected the district to carry approximately $700,000 forward in the interim balance. She noted the school district is allowed by state law to carry up to 25 percent of its annual budget as the interim balance, which would be just over $1 million for the Kenmare School District.
•On second reading, board members referred the Compensation of Educational Classes Policy to the Policy Committee for further discussion.
•The board approved contracts returned by 20 teachers and three administrators. Murphy said teachers have until June 21st to return their signed contracts for approval.
•Board members approved the two-year commitment agreement with the Western Corps of Discovery consortium related to the purchase and use of various types of vocational and technical equipment for student use. Vocational-agriculture instructor Mitchell Becker reported on a meeting he attended for the consortium and said he had scheduled some of the equipment for his KHS classes based on the interest shown by the students. He also noted the consortium was in the process of updating some of the equipment used by the group.
•The board approved the hiring of Tarra Froseth as the drivers’ education instructor and Barb Johnson as the district’s summer school instructor.
•Board members approved increasing the expenses for the General Fund from $4.08 million to $4.5 million, upon the recommendation of Murphy.
•Superintendent Duane Mueller reported on an emergency management training session and simulation exercise, sponsored by the Minot Regional Education Association, that he attended with elementary principal Janis Gerding, elementary secretary Monica Kjos and secondary secretary Kathy Mickelsen. According to Mueller, the Ward County Emergency Manager’s office would like to conduct an emergency preparedness simulation with the Kenmare schools, but that exercise has not been scheduled.
•Superintendent Mueller reminded board members that the school business office is open during the summer months every Monday through Thursday from 7 am to 3 pm, although the office often closes by 1 pm on Thursdays.
•Lenny Rodin asked about the fate of the After School Enrichment Program offered for students in the elementary grades, now that long-time ASE instructor Barb Johnson has retired. Superintendent Mueller said he would discuss the position with school staff members when classes begin again in the fall.
•The Activities Committee, with members Doug Miller, Lars Christensen and Craig Ellsworth, scheduled a meeting for June 18th at 6 pm.
•The Policy Committee, with members Blaine Huff, Michele Nelson and Ellsworth, scheduled a meeting for June 18th at 7 pm.
•The next regular meeting of the Kenmare School Board will take place Tuesday, July 16th, at 7:30 pm at Kenmare High School, following the informational meeting about the proposed addition to Kenmare High School. The public is welcome to attend both meetings.