2017-04-20 / Community

Laker Elementary School to get metal roof; FFA Barn project progresses; district looking ahead

By John Bonke
Staff Writer • jbonke@mihomepaper.com • 810-452-2668

LAKER — Laker will be putting a metal roof on its elementary school building, constructing a barn for agriculture education and looking forward at possible projects to enhance its educational offerings.

Superior Contracting was chosen to install a steel roof on the elementary building, with approval at the Laker School Board meeting on Monday, April 17. The company was recommended by R.C. Hendrick & Sons, which conducted interviews with bidders.

Superintendent Brian Keim said Superior got a good recommendation from Sandusky schools, where the company installed a similar roof.

“They do a lot of roofing,” Keim said about the company.

Work on the FFA Barn, a project to construct a building to provide agriculture and science education, is waiting on the weather. It is hoped groundbreaking will be soon, with the barn ready by the 2017-18 school year.

The barn will also serve as a place where students can house and raise animals to learn about them and to practice showmanship skills for the Huron Community Fair.

The barn will be 60’-x-120’ with a sidewall height of 18’ and a 28’ peak at the center. The design was created to provide plenty of space inside and allow for possible future expansion off of the tall sidewalls. The structure will be sided in red steel - to symbolize the traditional color of barns. The building will feature several cupolas along the upper roofline to add aesthetic appeal.

Keim then spoke about the possibility of the next big project being a complete renovation of the Industrial Arts space in the secondary school. The project could include subjects such as computer programming, welding, manufacturing, entrepreneurship and engineering.

Keim said the goal is to prepare students for the jobs of today and the future as well as fitting into career and trade offerings at the local technical center.

“We want to prepare our students as well as any other school,” said Keim. “We’ve been very fortunate with our community support.”

Other projects Keim mentioned for consideration include a complete renovation of the auditorium.

“It’s outdated,” Keim said.

The track is needing repair and the high school roof needs repair, Keim said.

Other possibilities brainstormed by the board included a fieldhouse with a community health room, teaching health sciences and teaching general life skills.

During the Anchored In Excellence portion of the meeting, Keim spoke briefly about the Climate Transformation Program at Laker schools, which focuses on reducing discipline rates and fostering a healthier culture for learning. Keim said the program is in full implementation at the schools.

The team at the elementary level is composed of Becky Krohn, Aimee Lemke, Sara Mater, Kim Roughley, and Jim Steinman. At the secondary level, Tina Sears serves as the Student Behavior Coordinator.

“They’ve made a good impact on our students,” Keim said. “They are always respect.”

Elementary Principal Kathy Dickens said behavior intervention is taking place throughout the school day and throughout the school building as well as outside.

Secondary Principal Jon Good said Sears “is doing a phenomenal job.”

The team members each received an Anchored In Excellence Award.

Also during Anchored In Excellence, Laker Archery Club Coach Lyle Gascho said the team is once again headed to Nationals, which is conducted in Louisville, Kentucky. Gascho said that the team is composed of fourth through eleventh graders and competes against high school teams. He also said the team “shoots Olympic-style” and follows the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) guidelines. Gascho also received an Anchored In Excellence Award.

Huron Intermediate School District Superintendent Joe Murphy was present at the meeting and presented an overview of the proposed ISD budget. Murphy said there aren’t many changes from last year’s budget. The budget would result in a General Fund budget deficit of $149,000. He said the fund balance would be at 53 percent.

Laker Board Member Mary Tait said that Laker doesn’t like to approve negative ISD budgets. Murphy said that in recent years, Huron County school superintendents requested the ISD spend money on educational programs and support.

Keim said he vouched for the policy.

Keim summarized the philosophy as, “We’re here to spend money on students, not be a bank.”

The Laker board passed a resolution of support for the proposed HISD budget.

In personnel matters, the board accepted with regret the resignation of Sherry Bloomfield, with 17 years of service as a bus driver.

In other personnel matters the board closed the Early Retirement Incentive offer. A Voluntary Severance Plan of $12,000 for any teacher at the tenth step or beyond, providing a minimum of two teachers would accept the offer.

Keim said that only one teacher showed an interest. He said the offer looked to provide flexibility with scheduling going forward.

Also, the board approved two-year contract extensions for Kathy Dickens, Jeff Etzel, Jon Good, Mike Klosowski, Scott Miklovic and Mark Weidman.

Keim said this is a good group and that the extension is a way to keep the team together.

During Administrator Reports, Good said there was 100-percent turnout for the first day of eleventh grade testing and good turnout the other days.

“They were ready,” Good said. “We’re very pleased.”

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