RE-2 School District Receives $1.8M BEST Grant

Washington, Parkview and the Lamar Middle schools have secured a BEST grant for $1.8 million to improve their HVAC systems.  The application for the grant was made last spring and the school district received word it had been approved this past summer. 

BEST is an acronym for Building Excellent Schools Today.  RE-2 District Superintendent, David Tecklenburg said the Vanir Construction Management Company out of Denver was hired to oversee the project, including hiring the contractors, “and will run the show for us,” he stated.  Plans call for HVAC replacement work, including the antiquated chiller for the middle school.  “This project should help us cut down on some of our heating and electric bills,” Tecklenburg explained.  He said the work will begin after this winter after which all the pipes and conduit will be taken out, along with heater vents and boilers.  High efficiency units will be installed, as well as making the switch from steam to hot water heating systems. 

Superintendent Tecklenburg said a directive from the USDA, regarding the nutritional components of the meals served within the district to the students is coming under a change which will take some study.  Food preparation is handled by the Chartwell Company.  Under the old regulations there were minimum limits regarding how many proteins, carbohydrates or calorie content could be served to students through the week.  Now, Tecklenburg explained, it’s a standard of maximums by which the same nutritional values are limited.  He said you could serve hamburgers on Monday and be pressed not to exceed various nutritional values in other foods with similar content for the rest of the week.  As an example, here’s a quote from the one inch thick brochure on student diet: 

“15.   May a school serve ½ cup fruit pieces and ½ cup fruit juice?

Yes.  The juice requirement that allows juice to be offered for one-half of the fruits offered is a weekly requirement.  Therefore, schools could serve ½ cup fruit pieces and ½ cup fruit juice on one or more days provided the total weekly juice offering does not exceed one-half of the total fruit offerings for the entire week.”

 In other action, the school board approved the expulsion of a Lamar Middle School student following discussion in an executive session.  Two policy revisions were approved for Support Staff Salary Schedules and for Home Schooling.  Five out of six field trip requests were approved.  For lack of a motion, the field trip to Hawaii in June for gifted and talented students from LHS was not discussed.

One part time bus driver was hired as well as two extra duty personnel for Drama and for the Knowledge Bowl.

By Russ Baldwin


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