Posen eyes improvement to buildings

POSEN – Building improvements are on the way for Posen Consolidated Schools as board of education members consider when and how to tackle them.

The board tabled a five-year building and grounds plan at their meeting Monday to get more information about energy usage in the school. Superintendent John Palmer presented a list of priorities to be tackled over the next five years, ranging from paint to heaters to lighting. Board members will wait to hear the results of an energy audit before deciding on the plan.

Posen has $168,259 remaining in a building and site sinking fund, Palmer said, money that can be spent only on certain projects. The board considered whether to purchase a new plow truck, as the district’s current one is in bad shape. Palmer told them the sinking fund money can’t be used to buy a truck, or to pay a plowing service.

The money can be used for a new boiler, however, and board members discussed replacing an outdated one. Palmer gave a price of around $20,000 to replace one, and $30,000-$40,000 to replace two. Board President Ken Wozniak said it was important to do something soon, as losing heat likely would force the district to cancel classes.

Some classroom heaters are in disrepair, and student council members Jaden Styma and Monica Bartz said these need attention soon. One is so loud that it disrupts class, they said, and Styma said some room thermostats also need replacing.

Board member Jesse Chappa said he wanted more information about replacing the building lighting. The board has talked about buying new LED lights in the past, but he wanted to hear an assessment from an impartial source. When Chappa discussed his district’s situation with a neighboring district’s school board member, both agreed that most people giving schools advice about lighting are trying to sell something.

Palmer and others agreed, and the district will seek an energy audit and ask Presque Isle Gas & Electric Cooperative for more information as well. However, some of the school’s lights take a bulb size that is no longer available, and will need attention soon, Palmer said.

“Under the circumstances that we have stuff that is completely obsolete … we certainly need to do something about it,” Chappa said.

Other projects involved more cosmetic changes, like the fascia board on the building’s exterior, painting some interior walls and replacing the carpet in the office. Palmer had an estimate of $2,492.80 for the carpeting.

In other business:

  • Catholic Human Services will send a counselor to Posen one day per week to help students with substance abuse, behavioral problems or problems with tardiness and academics. The board approved an agreement with the nonprofit, and Wozniak said he was glad to bring in more help for struggling students.
  • girls junior varsity basketball coach Mandee Hincka resigned because she was missing too many of her son’s games, she said in a letter to the board. Her position will be posted.
  • the district will buy a $1,650 scanner to read diagnostic codes from its new buses.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.