Mitchell High School construction moving forward
Mitchell Board of Education gets update at May 11 meeting
MITCHELL — The Mitchell High School building project construction is proceeding as planned, with completion of the building still slated for spring or fall of 2025.
Superintendent Joe Childs gave a quick rundown of the construction project at the most recent meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education Thursday, May 11.
The most noticeable change underway right now is the work being done in front of what has been the main entrance to the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy, roughly just across Capital Street from the current Mitchell High School.
The entrance has been closed off and the parking lot torn up as crews pour footings and make other preparations to attach the future new high school to the current MCTEA structure. He also said construction crews have been holding off on getting to work on the nearby athletic practice fields until the high school track and field season is wrapped in order to not deny students the use of those practice fields.
But the dry weather, while a bane to lawns and planting farmers, has been a boon to the construction project.
“Usually when you start dirt work, it pours. We’ve been pretty fortunate that it hasn’t slowed anything down,” Childs said.
Deb Olson, president of the board of education, said it was nice to see work progressing steadily.
“If there is one good thing about the lack of rain, and there aren’t many, it is that they’ve been able to do a lot of work,” Olson said.
Childs also said he had been attending several service organizations meetings around Mitchell concerning the upcoming bond issue vote on June 6, including groups like Kiwanis Club, Exchange Club and Mitchell Rotary. Mitchell voters will head to the polls on election day to decide whether to approve a $17 million bond issue that will help the district upgrade its high school athletics facilities, which are not a part of the current construction phase that is underway.
He said the meetings have been well-attended and members have asked good questions, mostly pertaining to the basics of the bond issue.
Some other topics of interest brought up at those informational meetings include building security and parking, he said.
His main focus when attending these meetings has been providing factual information so that club members can head to the polls with the information they need to make a good decision.
“My main objective is to provide facts, because people practicing their civic duty will be voting on June 6, and I want them to have the info to make an informed decision,” Childs said.
He encouraged community members to reach out to him if they themselves have questions regarding the school building project or the upcoming bond vote.
The board also got its first look at the 2023-24 school year budget.
The proposed budget shows a general fund of $23,373,071, a slight increase over the $21,622,771 from the 2022-23 school year budget. In the capital outlay fund, the district is proposing a budget of $4,966,942, which is also up from the $4,849,467 originally budgeted for the previous school year.
In the special education fund, the district is proposing a budget number of $6,162,180, an increase over the $5,282,364 from the previous year. The food service budget would see an increase to $2,294,998 from the $2,260,805 budgeted for the 2022-23 school year.
Those numbers total $36,797,191 for the proposed 2023-24 district budget, compared to $34,015,407 in 2022-23.
Mitchell Technical College also submitted its figures for the 2023-24 school year. The two-year technical college estimated a total budget of $36,298,323 and a main fund of $27,908,323. Those are both increases from $28,172,777 and $20,282,777, respectively.
The annual budget is generally approved and adopted at the board’s second June meeting. More details on the budget is expected at the next meeting of the board.
The board could not come to consensus on the reworked wording of district policy 222, which dictates how Mitchell Board of Education members communicate through electronic means. The board voted down the new policy by a vote of 3-2, with Terry Aselesen and Shawn Ruml voting in favor and Olson, Brittni Flood and Matt Christiansen voting no.
The policy will now revert back to the form it had before changes were originally suggested in April. The board could revisit the policy, however, at a later meeting.
Discussion on the topic mostly centered around whether the term "A quorum" needed to added at the head of two bullet points in the revised policy, or if the policy as presented Thursday was adquate.
The full discussion can be viewed on the livestream video above.
The board approved the following personnel moves:
- The new certified hire of Brooke Brummett, special education teacher at Mitchell High School, $48,100; Cheylee Nagel, special education teacher and Mitchell High School and Mitchell Middle School, $33,000 0.7 FTE, effective 2023-24 school year; Christian Fossum, 0.4 FTE math teacher at Mitchell High School, $20,721; Kamden Miller, social studies at Mitchell High School, $62,900 and Bobby Reindl, assistant principal at Mitchell High School, $85,000. All hires are effective for the 2023-24 school year.
- The classified hires of Becky Kurth, accounts receivable, $19.50, effective May 15, 2023 and Pat Larson, head football coach, $6,288, effective 2023-24 school year.
- The transfers of Bridget Huber, 4-5 multiage teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary to third grade teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary and Ashley Sand, 4-5 multiage teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary to third grade teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary. Both transfers are effective for the 2023-24 school year.
- The resignations of Sarah Timmer, third grade teacher at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, effective end of 2023-24 school year; Sandy Sheets, paraeducator at Mitchell Middle School, effective end of the 2022-23 school year; Corey Flatten, eighth grade ELA teacher at Mitchell Middle School, effective end of the 2022-23 school year and Bobby Reindl, assistant principal at Mitchell Middle School, effective end of the 2022-23 school year.
Also at the meeting, the board:
- Approved policy 222 revision upon second reading.
- Approved sale of ADBC program student-built house #109.
- Heard public commentary.
- Heard board member reports.
- Heard the superintendent report.
The next meeting of the board is scheduled for May 22.