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Architect Hired For Sandoz Elementary Project In Lexington

Barb Bierman Batie
Thursday, November 15, 2018

A contract with BVH Architecture of Lincoln was approved Monday night by the Lexington School Board to provide design services for the Sandoz Elementary construction project. This will be the first of many steps toward launching the project, noted administrative staff.
The board also approved a resolution designating members of the Construction Manager at Risk Selection Committee. School board members on the committee will include Mike Dowling, Larry Steinberger and Roger Reutlinger; school staff and administrators will include Barry McFarland, Bo Berry and John Hakonson; as well as the architect Mike Daily, Rod Reynolds and Joe Pepplitsch.
A tentative date of July 31, 2020, has been set for completion of the remodeling and addition at Sandoz.
In other business the board approved the purchase of a 60-passenger 2020 Blue Bird Vision school bus for $107,650. The district will receive a $42,000 rebate for the bus cost through the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s 2018 School Bus Rebate Program. Funds come from the Volkswagen State Trust, making the net cost to the district $65,850. As required by the program the district will remove an older bus from their inventory to make way for the more fuel-efficient newer model.
The board also heard a 20-minute report on the 2017-18 financial audit presented via conference call with Marcy Luth, an accountant with Almquist, Maltzahn, Galloway & Luth, PC.
The audit noted the district had general fund revenues of $36.6 million, which were $651,302 more than expenses. They also noted student enrollment increased by 85 students or 3.1 percent for a total number of students at 2,794.
While federal and state grant dollars were down in 2017-18, state aid increased slightly. Among the district’s major expenses (over $25,000) last year were new band uniforms - $176,095; the high school dish room remodel - $135,540; new lights at the high school football field - $252,206; two 2016 Dodge Caravans - $39,600; 150 MacBook Airs, acquired under capital lease - $114,600; and 850 iPads, acquired under capital lease - $241,400.
Luth noted two factors would have an impact on the district’s financial future. First, the general fund tax call for 2019 is expected to drop by $141,497, largely due to decreased valuations on district farmland. Second, certified state aid will only be $17.6 million, which is a 7 percent or $1.3 million drop from 2018.
She urged the district to watch their cash reserves and to carefully plan their budget as the state goes through an agricultural lull.
Other new business included approval of the district’s revised mission and vision statements. The revised mission statement states: “The mission of Lexington Public Schools is to develop capable and responsible lifelong learners.”
The new vision statement: “We will prepare students for the global challenges and opportunities for the future with the cooperation of family, school and community. The school is committed to instilling in each student a desire to learn and overcome challenges within a caring respectful and multicultural environment.”
During his report Superintendent Hakonson noted that School Resource Officer Chad Reutlinger has been promoted to Sergeant in the Lexington Police Department and will step down from that post. He is now training Officer Kareem McDougall to be his replacement at the schools.
At 7:50 p.m. the board voted to go into executive session to discuss collective bargaining strategy. No action was taken.