April 18, 2012

Board accepts renovation bids

In a 6-0 vote Monday night, with Jerry Price absent, the bids for the architectural and electrical renovation of Hudson Area Schools in the amount of $3,319,360 passed with a waived first reading.

Bids for the renovation at Hudson Area Schools were opened March 30, and a subcommittee of Hudson Area Schools’ school board met Friday, April 13th and discussed the bids received. Eleven out of 21 bids for architectural and electrical renovation were received from Hillsdale, Adrian, Clayton or Hudson.

Alternative projects were priced up as a part of the bidding process in the event that bids came in low enough that they could be afforded, and bids did indeed come in low enough that many of them could be pursued while leaving a 9% contingency in the budget. Some of those alternative projects included: a new circuit breaker for the boiler room, since the circuit breaker is very old and may have been impossible to use if it had to be thrown. The project will cost approximately $11,000, but the replacement will possibly save several days of school in the event that it needed to be repaired.

All alternative projects are still under the scope of the project.

The school board also:

• Heard the first reading for a proposal for locating a Department of Human Services extension office in the school. The Department of Human Services would like to develop a relationship with the community by having local offices where they can help fill out paperwork and help people register for benefits, and are asking to use someplace in the school’s facilities. The location would provide full services to the community, and the Department of Human Services currently services 700 cases (individuals and families) in theHudsonarea. The office would be open one day a week, with an eye to begin June 1.The administration is considering offering the old middle school office for the use of the DHS, which is only used once in a while.

• Waived the first reading and approved the proposal for the Hudson Public Library to consider Hudson Area Schools as part of their district as a part of the process of becoming a district library. A district library must have two entities that they serve, and the proposal is to serve the City ofHudsonand the school district. The library is currently facing funding shortfalls as a consequence of economic issues. If the library becomes a district library, their funding becomes a millage issue. The Hudson Public Library will not be taking over Hudson Area Schools’ library system at all.

• Waived the first reading and approved the acceptance of the bid for security equipment for school buses. The low bidder, AngelTrex Systems, presented a bid of $19,812.52 for security for 14 buses. The next lowest bid was for over $31,000. “This is a substantial difference and we thought it was a good deal when we looked at it,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne.

• Waived the first reading and approved the bid proposal for new school buses in a 6-0 vote. The school plans to purchase two buses a year for the next four years. The first bus will have an underbody storage compartment on each side of the bus for additional storage for longer trips with more gear. The buses will also be 77 passenger vehicles in comparison to the current 71, and the roofs will be painted white to keep them 11-15 degrees cooler in the sun at a minor cost difference.

• Heard the first reading for bids for a new floor scrubber for theLincolnbuilding. The current floor scrubber is over 20 years old and has particular difficulty with the gym floor.

• Waived the first reading and approved a proposal to allow the superintendent to approve change orders for the bond project for orders under $10,000. All changes would be submitted to the board, and anything over $10,000 will be submitted to the board for approval. When issues come up during construction the school needed a way to respond speedily to those issues without calling emergency school board meetings.

• Heard the first reading to approve an additional year on administrative contracts while the board negotiates the finances for contracts. They are still in the process of determining what changes would occur. This extension would not preclude any changes from happening, just continues the previous contract until a resolution can be reached.

• Heard the first reading for the Superintendent’s contract, in which the Superintendent would receive a 6% reduction in salary. “This is a difficult time for all of our employees,” said Osborne, “All of our employees are being asked to contribute to the fiscal recovery of the district, and the superintendent is not exempt.” Medical benefits would remain the same, with the same benefits and same cap on medical benefits.

• Approved a leave of absence for elementary school teacher Christi Vanover for maternity leave this fall.

• Heard a presentation from Michigan Senator Bruce Caswell, who presented tributes to the wrestling team for their wins. Caswell presented certificates of congratulations to three individuals and to the entire team celebrating their fourth championship win. The team certificate will remain in the school’s trophy case. “Coach Marry, you’re doing a wonderful job, and you sure do make an impact on a lot of individuals,” said Caswell. “We appreciate the recognition,” said Marry. “They’re hard workers, they really are.”

• Four people were chosen to be the initial members of the Hall of Fame: Hazel Monahan, Don Murdoch, William Thompson and Fran Freeborn.

• Heard a report from Elementary Principal Cindy Godfrey that kindergarten and preschool registration is open; the school currently has 38 registered for kindergarten and 8 for preschool.