October 12, 2021
  • October 12, 2021

BOLD resumes responding to school needs and terminates consultation agreement

By on September 23, 2021 0

At its Monday meeting, the board unanimously approved a recommendation from its facilities committee to dissolve the consultation agreement with ICS.

Superintendent Jim Menton said there have been discussions with ICS about the possible end of the relationship. He said company representatives understood the school’s desire to end the relationship and start over.

“They get it. They get it,” Menton said.

ICS Consulting assisted the district in a multi-year process that included reviewing the district’s facility needs, organizing meetings of a council-appointed citizens’ committee, and issuing a $ 62.6 million bond. dollars to voters in the district serving the communities of Bird Island, Lake Lilian and Olivia. In a referendum in February, voters flatly rejected proposals to develop a 149,000 square foot kindergarten to grade 12 school on the Olivia Hospital campus.

The District Facilities Committee includes school administrators and board members Brian Boen, Jamie Bohlin and Theresa Jacobs. In addition to recommending ending the relationship with ICS, members listed questions for board members to identify what they want in the search for a new consultant.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Jacobs urged his colleagues to consider funding repairs to the roof of the large gymnasium at Bird Island school facilities. The district had already budgeted for the repair of the roof, but the item was taken off the list after the district closed Bird Island Elementary School.

While there are still many decisions to be made, Jacobs noted that the gymnasium will certainly feature in future district or community plans. “We’re going to need this gym no matter where we go,” Jacobs said.

In a separate but related case, school board members also approved a revised memorandum of understanding with the Chalkboard Collective at Bird Island. The citizens’ organization is working to reuse Bird Island facilities.

The revised agreement includes a commitment by the school district to retain ownership of the large gymnasium, as well as continue the short-term preservation of all school facilities.

The revised agreement also includes a commitment by the school district to contribute $ 1 million towards a facility reallocation project. The pledge of funding will assist the Chalkboard Collective in its efforts to secure grant funds.

The citizens’ group is studying a variety of uses for the facilities. One includes adding locker rooms and upgrading the large gymnasium for use as a community event center. The recent closures of Athmann’s Restaurant and Bird Island Ballroom represent a significant loss of community meeting space for the community.

The organization is also exploring the possibility of adapting the space in the facilities to provide space for entrepreneurial activities, fitness and wellness, as well as the Bird Island Cultural Center. Rural Computer Consulting has also expressed interest in the possibility of an office space.

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