The Redwood Area School District is in the midst of some major construction projects at both its Redwood Valley and Reede Gray sites. Site improvements to the main entrance area and the south parking lot are being conducted at the Redwood Valley campus, with a new playground being installed at the elementary school.

The Redwood Area Board of Education heard an update of the projects at its meeting Monday night, with John McNamara of Wold Architects presenting the update and making several change order requests. 

According to McNamara, the Reede Gray playground project is moving forward on schedule, adding the current prep work should be done very soon. The equipment for the new playground area is scheduled to be delivered this week, and McNamara said the plan is to begin that work some time after July 4.

That, he added, gives those doing the equipment installation ample time to get the work accomplished prior to the Aug. 4 completion date

However, as part of the Reedy Gray project, two change orders were presented. The first is to alter the storm structure plan.

According to McNamara, the initial plan was to save the current structure and raise it up. That structure was built out of brick instead of cast concrete. McNamara said it was determined modifying the brick structure would be difficult, and as a result it was proposed to build a new structure at an added cost of $5,067. That cost, added McNamara, is less than it would have been to modify the current structure.

In addition, McNamara said during concrete walk removals at the Reede Gray site, an underground drain was discovered that needed to be reinstalled. The review of the site determined a trench drain was a better option to serve the area and that replacement of the concrete stoop should occur. That comes with an added cost of $6,672.

The main entrance project at RVMS/HS has proven to be more of a challenge. McNamara said one of the issues that was discovered as the soil in the area was removed was that the waterproofing initially installed had deteriorated more than was initially anticipated.

“This has become a bigger project than was expected,” he said, adding the water issues were larger in scope.

That led to the determination that the waterproofing efforts in the area near the main entrance needed to be extended to the inside corner of the main entry. Water intrusion was discovered in the kitchen storage area, and McNamara said it makes sense to address this issue now while the other work is being done rather than opening it up at a later date. Drainage protection material is being added at that location to better protect the membrane that is being installed in that area to avoid damage in the future. The cost of the added work is $25,586.

The good news, said McNamara, is that there is a $3,464 deduct from the project, as it was determined that the installation of metal bollards in the lower parking lot area were not needed. McNamara said the addition of these bollards now would result in their removal in the not too distant future if the school board decided to move forward with an expansion project of the career and technical center.

The total cost of the change orders is $37,325, with the $3,464 credit, the school board approved change orders in the amount of $33,861.

A $25,000 contingency was included in the initial project budget, which will cover the majority of the change order costs. With the continued work at the Redwood Valley site, the main entrance is closed, and other entrance options are available for those who plan to visit the facility.

In other action during its meeting, the board:

• Approved the 2017-18 community education budget, with anticipated revenues of $650,391.69, including $209,622.94 in community education, $72,255.44 in Early Childhood Family Education, $349,388.31 in school readiness and $19,125 in unassigned revenue.

Anticipated expenses for the 2017-18 year are $625,827.39, with anticipated expenditures of $202,650.30 in community education, $64,928.09 in Early Childhood Family Education, $339,616 in school readiness and $18,633 in unassigned. Overall, the fund balance anticipated at the end of the 2017-18 year is $33,970.

• Approved the preliminary 2017-18 annual school budget. Anticipated revenues are $16,310,980, with proposed expenditures of $16,376,272. The proposed fund balance at the end of the 2017-18 school year is $4,431,131.

Scott LeSage, school finance director, added the budget currently does not include any added expenditures based on the negotiation of a new contract with Education Minnesota - Redwood Falls. The school board is anticipating the 2 percent increase for the next two years from the state, which would include $121,000 in year one and $134,000 in the second year.

• Approved a new one-year contract with Taher Inc. for food service management at a total cost of $687,378.12. The school district solicited bids, with Taher the only bid received.

LeSage added there is anticipated revenue of approximately $18,500 for the school year, adding that is due to the fact that the school district is required to increase the costs of the meals provided.

• Accepted the resignations of Lael Dornseif from her position as the high-school business education teacher; Alexis Martin from her role as a middle-school paraprofessional; Marit Rheinheimer from her position as a fifth-grade teacher; Aaron Guggisberg from his role as an assistant varsity softball coach and Andrea Spanovich from her role as a high-school math teacher.

• Approved the employment of Logan Swann as a full-time special education teacher starting Dec. 22, 2017 with a prorated salary of $22,435 based on a 96-day contract.

• Approved the employment of Cassie Spanovich as head dance coach at a stipend of $1,846.

• Approved the employment of Amie Johnson as the high-school administrative assistant for a 203 day contract at a rate of $13.50 per hour.

• Approved the employment of Andrea Iverson as a full-time student advocacy advocate at a salary of $51,000 for a 200 day contract. The contract for the first year is prorated at 178 days for $255 per day totaling $47,940.

• Approved the employment of Emma Gaffney as a preschool assistant for 32 hours per week during the school year at a rate of $11.95 per hour.