FAIRMONT — The Fairmont School Board heard on Tuesday an overview of projects that Buildings and Grounds and Maintenance Services have completed in the district over the past year.
Buildings and Grounds Manager Tyler Garrison said: “We put money back into our buildings, continually trying to keep things up to date, which with our facilities as old as they are, is a huge task to do.”
Garrison said some larger projects they completed last year included: work on the roof of the high school building; LED lighting added to tennis courts; new kitchen items added; removal of trees near sports fields; interior painting of buildings; new ceiling in the elementary school gymnasium; repainted parking lots; added rubber mulch to the playground; repaired water pipes.
He said they also continually change the filters on the air handling units.
“If anyone is worried about germs and Covid, we have added an additional change since Covid hit,” Garrison said.
Board member Julie Laue said she commends the staff for their hard work in not only keeping the buildings clean, but keeping them in good condition despite the buildings age.
“Everything on this list is part of that upkeep and keeping things in good shape,” she said.
As for plans coming this summer, Garrison said they are looking at a playground upgrade on the north side of the elementary school, a science room redesign, a weight room redesign and the sports spectator entrances to secondary school.
As for the new professional building, Garrison said many people probably noticed the walls starting to go up. He said they had a few days of cold weather that slowed work last week, but were back on track this week.
During his superintendent’s report, Andy Traetow also spoke about the professional expansion project. He said they are now a third into the project and have an expected completion date of June.
“At this stage, we are on budget,” he said.
Regarding the new HVAC lab that will be in the professional building, Traetow said high school co-principals Chad Brusky and Alex Schmidt have met with area experts and spoken to other professionals in the field to work on developing the program.
On the Covid front, Traetow said that as of January 7, there were a total of eight positive Covid cases among pupils in the two school buildings.
Traetow also spoke about the emergency temporary federal standard that went into effect Jan. 10.
“We are as a school district implementing the expectations of this ETS since yesterday. One thing to note, this is not an independent, voluntary act of the school district, and it complies with OSHA and MNOSHA timelines and requirements,” said Traetow.
Since the school district employs more than 100 people, it is necessary to have a policy ready to be put in place if the decision is adopted by the United States Supreme Court. Traetow said the district is adopting the Covid-19 vaccination or testing and face covering policy.
Moving on to other matters, the board heard some details regarding the settlement of the contract between Education Minnesota-Fairmont and Fairmont area schools.
“We mentioned it several times throughout the fall, many meetings between our bargaining committee and the teachers. said board member Mike Edman.
The two-year contract runs from 2021-2023. The contract includes a 2.25% increase in the 2021-22 teachers’ salary scale and a 2% increase in teachers’ salaries the following year. There is also a 2% increase in coaching salaries and a 2% increase in allowances for fine arts and other extracurricular salaries for 2021-22 and 2022-23.
District distributions toward health insurance premiums in the 2021-22 school year represent a $370 increase per employee and a $300 increase in year two.
“It was a lot of denial, but it was worth it. We are very happy to have been able to agree. said Edman.
The board approved the deal.
The council accepted the following donations:
— $16,222 from the sports recall club for boys’ and girls’ athletics.
— Anonymous donation of $500 for the purchase of equipment for the new HVAC program.
The council proceeded to the election of the following officers:
— Nicole Green, Member of the Board of Directors, as President.
— Rufus Rodriguez, member of the board of directors, as vice-president.
— Mari Myren, Board Member, as Registrar.
— Julie Laue, member of the board of directors, as treasurer.