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Montezuma school to build bus barn near football field

Montezuma school buses will soon have a new place to call home. Following discussion of four proposed sites on the school campus, the Montezuma Board of Education voted at its regular meeting Aug. 18, to construct the new bus barn south and west of the Badger-Gabriel football bleachers.

John Bushong of Bushong Construction said after the meeting that the availability of sewer was probably the main factor in the board choosing the east location. The other three sites were west of the softball diamond, and southwest and southeast of the high school parking lot. All three had significant obstacles as a site location.

“The other locations do not have sewer deep enough to the serve the building,” said Bushong.

The southwest site had storm water runoff and the trees at the west site would have to be removed, which is something the board did not want to do.

The discus and shot put areas will be relocated further back to allow for construction of the building.

Septagon to manage construction In a related matter, following presentations by Bushong Construction of Montezuma and Septagon Design and Construction of Grimes, the board voted 4-1 to utilize the services of Septagon to design, contract and manage construction of the new bus barn. Dan Hunt and Kevin Curry with Septagon said the company would not bid on the work, only manage it.

Also presenting was John Bushong of Bushong Construction. Bushong offered to manage construct for $25,000, stating later during discussion that his company’s bread and butter was in constructing buildings, not construction management. He said his company plans to bid on the bus barn project. Bushong said he would not be offended if the board went with Septagon to manage the project.

“We want to build,” said Bushong. Curry said his company utilizes as many local bidders as possible. Septegon’s fee was not set, but according to Superintendent Dave Versteeg, it would be in the 3.5 to five percent range of the total cost of construction.

The board opted to give Septagon the bid, stating that there may be more work in the future for the company, and they wanted to give them a test run on a smaller project.

The only dissenting vote came from board member Pete Ross, who said both companies were knowledgeable and would provide good service, but he was in favor of the local business in dealing with this type of building.

“Bushong knows the community,” said Ross, stating that he and his kids went to school here.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to put some seed money for future projects,” said board member Vince Johnson. A timeline on construction was not available at last week’s meeting.

Other business

In other business, the board

• Received a report that ACT scores at Montezuma are improving. Superintendent Versteeg said all seniors in the class of 2009 took the test, scoring an average of 21.7. The state average is 22.4. Versteeg said in 2008 the score was 20.5, and in 2005 it was 20.3.

• Discussed the future of the wrestling program, stating due to the need for a coach, that the district is looking at sharing the program with another district.

• Appointed Ahlers & Cooney as legal counsel for the school.

• Approved the sale of two used school buses to Thomas Bus Inc. for $600 each.

• Approved purchasing microwaves and a refrigerator from Victor Appliance; and the dishwasher and ranges from Main Street Furniture and Appliance in Grinnell for the Family Consumer Science program.

• Appointed Angie McKeag as assistant high school volleyball coach, Bill Bolen as volunteer assistant high school football coach, Partner Maschmann as volunteer assistant high school football coach, Sean Sutfin as volunteer assistant high school football coach and Katy Ewing as volunteer assistant high school volleyball coach.

• Received a report from Superintendent Versteeg that the district was not selected to receive money from the Iowa Department of Education through the Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCBs) program. The district applied for $4 million in no interest funding through the program.

• Received a report on a number of summer work projects that were completed. Superintendent Versteeg said the following projects have been completed:

East and south windows on the elementary school have been re-caulked, and the drain problem fixed; nine new white boards installed in various classrooms; 12 painting projects completed in classrooms; Eight electrical projects completed; four plumbing projects; 60 plus other related projects completed; six security cameras installed; and two overhead projectors installed.

“They (maintenance staff) got a lot done and they are ready to roll,” said Superintendent Versteeg.

• Noted that the athletic planning committee would meet on Sept. 10 The next regular board meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 6:30 p.m.

UPDATED August 25, 2009 1:34 PM

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