The Mitchell Board of Education will review bids for a proposed new student lounge area at Mitchell Technical Institute when it meets Monday evening, Dec. 9.

The meeting, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., will be held in the commons at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School.

Mitchell Technical Institute has been exploring adding a new student lounge area to its campus in recent months. The current students lounge area, located in the MTI Campus Center, is already a spot where students gather to unwind or play pool, but the hours it is open is limited and there isn’t enough space for people to spread out around a table for games or other activities.

Bids were recently sought for the renovation of a common area in the front lobby of the Muth Electric Technology Center. The new lounge would allow greater access and security for students who use it. Access would be available 24 hours a day through the use of keycards, and cameras would provide an extra level of security for those who visit.

The bidding process for the project has been completed and the submissions are in the review and confirmation stage. That process was not completed by the time the agenda for the Dec. 9 meeting was prepared, so the board will hear those bids along with a final recommendation on the successful bidder at the meeting.

The board will also review potential changes to district policy in regard to meetings, executive sessions and notification of board meetings. The changes to policy will officially bring the district into compliance with recent changes in state law made by the state legislature.

Proposed policy changes include requiring a portion of the meeting to be dedicated to public comment, adding provisions for reasons for going into executive session, including client-attorney privilege and the discussion of security plans and adding language that stresses that discussion in executive session be limited to the reason for going into the executive session and that the appropriate section of South Dakota Codified Law be cited.

Joe Graves, superintendent of the Mitchell School District, noted the changes will not alter current district practices, with the possible exception of allowing executive sessions for discussions on school security, which is a new exception now allowed by South Dakota law.

The board is also expected to set a date of June 3, 2020 for the join city and school election and appoint a board member as a Legislative Action Network Representative and recognize Shane Thill, assistant principal at Mitchell High School, who was recently named Region 3 Assistant Principal of the Year by the South Dakota Association of Secondary Principals.

The meeting is open to the public.