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Boreal Community Media

School board gets construction update

Sep 28, 2018 08:07AM ● By Editor

The outside of the culinary arts addition to the high school is completed but there is still more work to do on the inside before classes can be held there. The job should wrap up on October 5 with classes to follow. The school is working with Cook County Higher Education and Hibbing Community College in the hopes of offering culinary arts classes for college credit at I.S.D. 166. Staff photo/Brian Larsen

By Brian Larsen of the Cook County News Herald - September 28, 2018

School board members received an update on the culinary arts and science rooms that were built over the summer at the board’s September 20 meeting.

Work is almost finished on the culinary arts addition, said superintendent Dr. Bill Crandall.

The science room is 98 percent finished, said Ryan Erspamer, a manager for Architectural Resources Inc. who is overseeing the work.

The culinary arts room is a little further behind but should be finished by October 5, said Erspamer. To achieve commercial kitchen status the room will be inspected by the Minnesota Health Department inspector on October 3. Erspamer added that he saw no reason why the inspection wouldn’t pass.

One very good piece of news, said Erspamer, was the construction for both the science and culinary arts spaces came in about $200,000 under budget. “We feel pretty good about that,” he added.

Up next will be the replacement/repair of the Arrowhead Center for the Arts (ACA) roof. The goal will be to repair the roof and get rid of the outside sounds that now can be heard in the auditorium. Erspamer’s firm has hired a sound consultant to figure out how the sounds are now getting in and how to eliminate them.

Work on he ACA roof will be done in the winter. Erspamer said it would be easier to hire contractors during what is generally a slow time for them. And, he said, “Snow is easier to clean up than rain.”

The project is expected to take three months to complete. School board member Deb White asked if ACA director Sue Hennessy could try to get grant money to help pay for some of the expenses. She also said she hoped that “more will happen than just fixing the roof. Sue climbs ladders to change lights.”


The school board voted to approve the preliminary maximum levy for 2019. As Dr. Crandall explained, the levy can always be lowered but it can’t be raised higher than it is set at this meeting. Last year the school’s levy was 7.7 percent.

Next, the board also set December 13 at 6 p.m. to hold the Truth in Taxation meeting.

Policy reviews

The school board reviewed the Harassment Policy, the Bullying Policy and received a report about the Cell Phone Policy. Cell phones are not allowed in the classroom and use of them is discouraged even at lunch break. Vice Principal Mitch Dorr said that kids were trying to use their other electronic devices to get around the Cell Phone Policy but were being stymied because the school’s I.T. director blocked off the school’s Internet.

Dr. Crandall will now be the one to receive harassment or bullying complaints. Once he gets a complaint, Dr. Crandall said, “We will follow our policy.”

Also approved was the resolution for a student to be a representative for students on the school board.

Superintendent review

In the board packet was a summary of the superintendent’s evaluation by school board chair Sissy Lunde. She wrote that the board felt Superintendent William (Bill) Crandall’s strongest areas of performance were in public relations; his professionalism in dealing with the staff, board and public; and his transparency and conservative funds management.

Improvements the board would like to see from Dr. Crandall included increasing his communication with staff and the school board and continue to improve “the efficiencies and effectiveness within the district office and keep the administration focused on the district vision and culture.”

Mr. Dorr’s report

Assistant principal Mitch Dorr reported that the fourth-grade class was doing tremendous work in clearing the tables after lunch. “All of the elementary teachers recognize them. Kudos to them. I’m really impressed with those kids.”

Next, Mr. Dorr thanked the current teaching staff for helping new teachers set up their rooms, especially with all of the construction that has been going on at the school.

Last, Mitch said he was very impressed with the leadership of the seniors who are playing on the football and volleyball teams. There are two new head coaches for those sports, said Dorr, adding with the change at the top of a team there is sometimes conflict with accepting new direction. “I haven’t seen any of that,” he said.

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