District 9 seeks design firm for new elementary

A request for proposal (RFP) for a design firm (architect) for an elementary school in Eagle Point were published with a response deadline of Wednesday, July 21 at 2 p.m. Those proposals will be reviewed following the deadline and on July 22, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 n time has been set to clarify who can provide the needed service based on their RFP.

Business Manager Dan Zaklan made it abundantly clear to the board that the total construction cost, onsite and offsite work cannot exceed $10,500. That is also stipulated in the RFP. The criteria for information from a design firm will be scored on a point system:
•Capability to perform services- 15 points.
•Project approach, staffing and design philosophy- 20 points.
•Performance history on past school district projects- 25 points.
•References- 15 points.
•Compensation and quality of written proposal- 25 points.
•Previously built building meeting district’s program requirements- 50 points

Zaklan reported the carryover was higher by $250,000 than anticipated, due to higher than expected tax collections.

Scott Whitman was introduced as the new Business Information & Operations Manager. His first official day was July 19. As previously reported, he has been the comptroller for the Medford District and has an extnesive background. He replaces Zaklan who had been back in the district on an interim basis.

Mike Hylan reported on the wellness program. He said 63 staff members participated in the initial screening with 47 continuing the program. The final report showed there was a combined weight loss of 332 pounds. He is hoping more members will get involved in the program this coming year.

Motions were made and approved electing Scott Grissom  to serve a second year as chair of the board of directors and Ted Dole as vice-chair. Mark Bateman was absent due to job demands. Board member Jim Mannenbach voted against both motions.

Mannenbach voted no on the consent agenda which include approval of minutes, personnel action (which included hiring of Whitman), out of state travel request, master calendar update and 14 resolutions, as part of the annual legal process. The basis for his vote against all of these items was his belief that the editor of the Upper Rogue Independent had a conflict of interest. He said perceived biases left many including himself concerned about ethics and wanted to know how much was being paid for services (one page District 9 newsletter monthly). Supt. Cynda Rickert provided Mannenbach some history on the reduction of the newsletter and cost over the last year and that it appeared given the district’s financial status, the Newsletter contract will not continue after June 30, 2011. She also said the annual cost was about $9,000 annually. Mike Remick explained the editor has no conflict of interest. She is a private contractor.

Graduation requirements, confidential employees and board meeting schedule were each approved on a 4-0 vote.

Rickert talked about the need to involve as many staff and community members as possible in the work sessions for the coming year to look outside the box at the education program and how it can function with the decrease in funding. She said topics would be posted ahead of time. The Administration would bring ideas to the board for discussion and for public input.

Questions were asked regarding the cell tower. Zaklan said the AT&T spokesperson had not returned his phone calls but while they wait for the money from AT&T, the district will take funds from the carryover dollars and get the new football field lighting done, then replace the money when AT&T pays the $60,000 due the district.

In his final words, Zaklan thanked the staff and expressed his concern about future funding and urged dollars be carefully monitored.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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