Blair Community Schools

Three repair and replacement projects are planned for Otte Blair Middle School.

On Nov. 23, water was found in the hallway north of the seventh grade science classrooms, causing $46,000 in damage to carpet.

The cause of the damage was determined to be from water that was left running in the mop closet.

The district's insurance company will cover the cost of the new carpet, which will be replaced during winter break.

The HVAC unit in the commons stopped working after issues were first reported in October. It is one of the larger units in the building and is positioned behind a block wall.

A wall will need to be removed to replace the unit. Though an exact cost is not known, it is estimated that it will not exceed $40,000. The cost to remove the wall and replace it and add a door is estimated to be between $30,000 to $35,000.

The board approved motions for both projects not to exceed $39,999. The projects will be paid for using funds from the 2016 bond issue.

In August, a significant leak was discovered in the hot water tank at Otte.

Since the hot water heater is original to the building and more than 24 years old, administration recommended the replacement of the unit.

American Boiler Company presented the low bid of $29,244 for a 500 BTH unit that will heat 575 gallons per hour at 100-degree rise. The board approved the bid. It will be paid for using funds from the bond issues.

Teacher resignations, hiring

The board accepted the resignation of Ashley Miskowiec, Deerfield Primary kindergarten teacher, effective upon the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year.

The board also accepted the resignation of Blair High School social studies teacher Steihl Reeves, effective Wednesday.

Darren Harsin was hired to replace Reeves for the remainder of the school year. He will start Jan. 3.

Calendars approved

The calendars for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years were approved.

The first student day for 2020-21 school year is Aug. 19. Winter break will be Dec. 23, 2020, through Jan. 4, 2021. Spring break is March 15-19, 2021.

School will end no later than May 27, 2021. Five snow days have been built into the calendar and will be subtracted at the end of the school year if not used.

District receives more than $1,000 from surplus sale

The board approved the bids from the district's surplus sale. The district received a little more than $1,000.

The board also authorized the district to sell, donate or dispose of items remaining from the sale.

Donations and grants

The district received a $3,000 grant from the Blair Area Community Foundation to be used toward the purchase of a spot vision screener. The grant was written by school nurse Holly Mackie.

The screener would assist the school nurses in screening students and be able to screen for more eye conditions than the traditional eye charts.

Mackie has also written and been awarded grants from Washington County Bank, Memorial Community Hospital and Health Systems and Cargill.

The cost of the screener is $7,500. So far, $5,600 has been raised.

District media specialist Tracy Bye also received a Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation Education Grant. The $2,000 will be used toward the STEM program

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