The Harlan Community School District’s Board of Educations offered a counter proposal for salary and benefits to representatives with the Harlan Education Association during their meeting, Monday. The board offered a base increase of $350 and a total package including wages, supplemental pay, and insurance and applicable payroll taxes of 2.11- percent. Two weeks ago, the HEA proposed a 6.92-percent increase for the staff at the Harlan Community School District. The negotiations will continue.
In other business, the board of educators held a public hearing with regard to the 2014-2015 school calendar. No comments were made from the public and the hearing was closed. During the regular meeting, Superintendent Justin Wagner told the board that with the proposed calendar changing from 180 days to 1,080 hours, the school will have more flexibility. Wagner also mentioned that due to the master contract with the staff, the calendar will look the same because the staff didn’t want to lose any compensation. The first semester on the new hour’s calendar will still finish before the student’s Christmas break. The calendar was approved.
The Harlan School Board also accepted the low bid for the Merrill Field Project. Wagner said There were three official bidders from Matt Basye. From his perspective, that was great participation. You have Duininck, Nemaha and Leinen Construction. As you see the base bid line, the low bid was Nemaha Construction out of Lincoln Nebraska at $1,641,900.”
Wagner said the Harlan Education Foundation has raised $1.645 million for the project to date. The bidding showed a few alternatives including the open-stand bleachers as opposed to the stack bleachers that are in the base bid, installing a sidewalk around the outside of the track to the visitors side of Merrill Field and adding a safety lane and fencing around the track. Wagner said the alternatives would take the project above what money has been raised. The Iowa Code will not allow the school district to approve any work done on the Merrill Field project unless the money is raised beforehand. The architect Matt Basye recommended to the school board to take care of the alternatives during the initial project instead of later when the project is complete, because of the value saved to the district.
Wagner then read the recommendation from the Education Foundation. He said “They recommend that we don’t spend money we don’t have but they also think the alternatives are worth getting. So how this would need to be worded this recommendation if the board chose is to take the base bid from Nemaha Construction at $1,641,900 and advocate the responsibility of structuring and scheduling the alternates to the superintendent as funds become available. If we get a donor tomorrow and say that’s great and here is the money, then we don’t have to get back together and make another motion. I as the Superintendent can say yep we have the money and we will move forward.”
Having received the Board’s approval, the next step is for a pre-construction meeting, scheduled for March 7th. The project is expected to be completed by August 22nd.