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The USD 251 Board of Education discusses paint bids Wednesday evening. 

The North Lyon County Board of Education discussed plans for the upcoming school year during a Wednesday evening meeting in Americus. 

Due to ongoing social distancing guidelines and regulations, the meeting was closed to the public and broadcast via Facebook live. 

Outgoing-Superintendent Mike Mathes, whose contract with the district ends June 30, said Curriculum Coordinator Becky Mayes has compiled a team of six teachers, counselors and administrators who are putting together plans for multiple scenarios regarding what school could look like in August. Incoming-Superintendent Robert Blair will step into the planning once his contract begins July 1. 

"Right now, the plan is we start school up as normal and hopefully we'll be able to do that," Mathes said. "I also wanted the team to come up with alternative plans." 

Mathes said the plans look at a number of scenarios including school buildings not being allowed to open due to statewide mandates, phased or limited openings, or a stunted fall semester. 

"How would that look?" he said. "I wanted them to put plans on paper on what that would look like. ... Everything will be set up and we can look forward."

Mathes said statewide guidance will also be considered, but that information will not be distributed until sometime after July 14. 

"They are not giving us anything until mid-July because things could change [before then]," Mathes said. "I tell ya, you've got a good team working on this, and Becky Mayes needs a new uniform. She has been absolutely phenomenal through this whole thing." 

The board also discussed painting bids amounting to $62,000 for work at Northern Heights High School. 

Mathes prefaced the discussion by saying he recommended holding off on the work if board members were not certain if they would pursue new construction in the next two or three years. Otherwise, if the consensus was to remain in the Northern Heights building for another 10 - 15 years, he would recommend moving ahead — but ultimately he was not making the decision. 

Board members saw it from both sides. 

Gary Heine said it was important for the board to show that it cared about its schools, which meant putting the work into buildings. Tammie Reed said a new coat of paint could possibly help with drafting issues — something she said she noticed in her home. 

"I know there's some on the board that feel that no more money should be spent at Heights, but the fact is, this should have been done years ago," she said. 

David Goldsmith said he believed more investigation and research needed to be done before the money was spent, something with which Angela Anderson said she agreed. 

Tim Burton said he also agreed, because if the board decided to stay in the Heights building, more work would need to be done — meaning the money might be better spent elsewhere. 

Ultimately, the board decided to hold off on action on the bids and no motion was made. 

The board also: 

^Approved the district's summer conditioning plan 

^Approved purchases for Chromebooks

^Approved purchases for Promethean boards

^Accepted grants from the Bovay Foundation and Mobilizing Literacy

(6) comments

out-thebox-side

The voters made it clear 3 times that they didn’t want a ridiculously expensive campus built in the middle of nowhere.

Tone it down. Build the essentials only and put it next to the school you already have; where 80%+ of your student population lives within 5 miles.

That option should of been what was brought to voters the 2nd or 3rd time around. Instead, the superintendent at the time was stuck on having the school built across the road from his house. Now, the voters are simply tired of any options and probably won’t even show up to the polls. Nov 2020 would of been the perfect time to have a 4th and final scenario on the ballot when you will see the highest turnout of voters to vote or not vote for the current dumbass as US president.

Rationa1

Completely disagree. Peel back the layers of the onion. Location and non-essentials were only the excuses those opposed to new construction in 251 used. The real stance is clear: no new construction. I don't have a dog in this fight, but if I was on the Board I wouldn't spend another moment beating this dead horse. Put new coats of paint on the existing buildings, patch the roofs, do whatever else needs to be done to keep them up to code, and call it a day.

out-thebox-side

The reality is, the results of the last bond elections were close enough that if the location changed to Americus, it would of passed.

Rationa1

I do business on the north side of the county on occasion. That's not what the people I trade with were telling me. I can think of only three who said the bond was too big. The other dozen or so all said they don't see any need for new construction and they thought the existing buildings were good enough and just needed repairs to whats already there instead of building something entirely new. One said they had gone to school in those buildings in the 90s and they learned just fine and should still be OK. So while I've only talked to a couple dozen people in your district about it but with those attitudes nothing will be passing even if its scaled down.

Rationa1

The voters in USD 251 have made clear they have no stomach for new construction. The Board should cut its losses and authorize upgrades to the old buildings until their patrons come to the conclusion that what was good enough back in the day just doesn't cut it anymore. New bond issues will just work up the "no" folks, disappoint the folks who want a 21st-century district, and set the new superintendent up for failure.

Vmae39

If It has anything to do with Northern Heights then it seems like it does not get done. That is one of the things during the last voting people were upset about is that they don’t do the upkeep needed at Northern Heights because they are hoping for a new school. You have to keep up on the maintenance.

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