Cedarbrook site for school house

Register City Editor

Iola High School building trades students will congregate daily for class work in the Cedarbrook Addition this year.
USD 257 board members Monday night accepted an offer of a lot and free utility connections from the city to build a house in Iola. The past several years IHS students have trekked to Gas or LaHarpe to build houses.
Proximity to the high school, just up the street on Cottownwood, will also allow the students to spend more time on site.
The house will have three bedrooms and in a departure from those of recent years will have a single large bathroom with two entrances. The house also will be a little larger than the past several, with a spacious living room and dining room attached to the kitchen, as well as large closets for each bedroom. An attached two-car garage is a part of the plans.
Dr. Craig Neuenswander, superintendent of schools, said the house built last year in Gas remained unsold and that the district had had no inquiries recently.
The student-built houses are offered for sale each year essentially for the cost of materials, which usually is about $80,000. Building trades class students occasionally have done smaller construction projects on school facilities instead of building houses.
The rationale all along has been that exposure to construction techniques gives students both an ability to fend more for themselves once they become homeowners and a background to pursue construction trades as a career, which several have.

THE DISTRICT will purchase a 60-inch Kubota front-deck mower from Storrer Implement for $12,500, with trade-in of a John Deere unit.
Board members made that decision after rejecting two bids for private mowing of school properties and a vote to buy a 61-inch front deck Grasshopper mower from Triple K Parts and Service failed. The Triple K offer was $14,126.25 with no trade-in, plus $800 for a blade for snow removal. The Storrer mower comes with a blade.
Neuenswander said it cost the district about $28,300 a year in wages and equipment amortization for mowing. Two part-time employees work most of the summer, mainly to mow but also are assigned other chores.
Bids for private mowing figured for a year were $94,997 and $24,000.

IN A BRIEF hearing at the start of the meeting, no one came to question the district’s budget for the 2009-10 school year. It calls for $11.7 million in expenditures for general operations of schools. The budget will require a total levy of 48.067 mills, 6.296 mills, or 15 percent, more than last year.
Following executive sessions totaling 30 minutes, board members voted unanimously — members Don Snavely and Deanne Burris were absent — to ratify a contract with teachers for this year that gives them step and column raises for tenure and additional education. They also approved the classified staff and supplemental contracts, for coaches and activities sponsors, for the new year. Teachers earlier ratified their contract.
Board members accepted a bid of $550, the higher of two, from Kari Clubine for a food mixer, thought to be about 40 years old, which was replaced in the district kitchen.