Board hears update on facilities assessment

The Red Oak Community School District’s facilities assessment is beginning to take shape.
Alley Poyner Macchietto architect Daric O’Neal said two meetings were held on Sept. 21, one with half of the district’s staff, and a second meeting with members of the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC).
“We took participants through something called ‘OWN the process’ which broke down opportunities, weaknesses, and needs, and split up the buildings into individual categories and had participants identify weaknesses, determine opportunities, and discuss the needs related to each facility,” explained O’Neal.
According to O’Neal, a great deal of data was collected, and they are in the process of charting all of the information collected. He did, however,  have some key takeaways.
“Overall, storage space across all facilities is a number one priority. Parking and flow of traffic is also seen as an inconsistency across all the faculties. Another one that rose to the top involved building safety and security, everything from intercoms within the buildings, safety plans, and additional tornado shelter space,” commented O’Neal.
At the SIAC meeting, O’Neal said two students were present and gave valuable information from their perspective and describing circulation challenges. O’Neal also shared needs addressed for each specific building.
• Red Oak Early Childhood Center: Lack of staff restroom facilities, and a school-age level playground.
• Inman Elementary: Portable classroom incorporated into long-term solution, secure entry, heating and cooling, and more cafeteria space.
• Red Oak Jr./Sr. High School: Heating and cooling, places to promote student success, such as whiteboards, or trophy cases, and internet connectivity. Also noted was a need for a bigger band room due to increased participation in the band and music programs.
O’Neal said he was also recommending the roof on the original Inman building be replaced within the next year.
“If that is something the board agrees to move forward with, within budget parameters, we’d like to put that project out for bid by the end of January, to make sure you are well within the queue with roofing contractors and vendors, with specification documents to be drafted by early December,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal added he expected to have the full assessment details available by the end of the semester, with an executive summary sometime in November.
The board also approved the second reading of board policy on meal charges and negative balances.  Under the guidelines, K-sixth grade students can charge reimbursable meals, seventh through 12th grade students can charge up to $5 in reimbursable meals, and district employees cannot charge meals or carry a negative balance. Ala carte items cannot be charged.
“As we move back to pre pandemic federal free lunch requirements, this allows us to be very clear on what we’re doing with negative account balances,” said Superintendent Ron Lorenz.
The board also discussed the hiring of an additional assistant coach for the girl’s wrestling program.
Now that girl’s wrestling has been sanctioned, Lorenz said they have 13 girls interested in participating.
“We’d like to hire an additional assistant coach that can work specifically with the young ladies and transport them to female-specific tournaments and events,” stated Lorenz.
Lorenz added they were simply seeking approval to create the position, with a salary of $3,240, with a personnel  recommendation at the next meeting
The board approved the creaton of a new assistant coach position for the girls wrestling program.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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