RAYMOND – Window replacement will be the major project this summer at Valparaiso Elementary.

The Raymond Central Board of Education voted April 10 to proceed with replacing the windows on the north side of the school building in Valparaiso.

Replacing the windows had been identified as a need for several reasons. Heating and cooling efficiency was among the problems, but the existing windows had also suffered hail damage.

Wolfe Construction of Valparaiso has been working with the district to get bids on appropriate replacement windows. His total bid for the project was $101,213.

Superintendent Derrick Joel said that bid included a few upgrade items, including a higher quality exterior paint and interior stain.

Joel said the school’s insurance company would be picking up the majority of the bill for the window replacement because of the hail damage. But, the upgrade items were considered cosmetic and would not be covered.

The insurance company has already sent a $43,000 check to cover replacement costs. Another check about that size is expected upon the project’s completion.

Board President Harriett Gould said the decision to move forward with this project was pretty simple.

“The insurance company is going to cover the majority of this so I appreciate the due diligence to check into this,” she said.

The elementary building in Valparaiso won’t be the only one getting some work done this summer. The board also gave the nod to heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements at the Ceresco Elementary.

Joel said this project had been put on the priority list right behind the window replacement in Valparaiso. With insurance stepping in to help with the Valparaiso project, he said there would be capital improvement funds now available for the Ceresco project.

The bid accepted was from H&S Plumbing and Heating for $52,235. The project will include six new heat pumps, metal duct work and associated controls installation.

Joel said school staff will do some of the removal and replacement of the ceiling tile on this project.

“We’ll do some of the work ourselves to save some money on that bid,” he said.

In other business last week, the board approved new graduation requirements. Students must now have at least 10 credits in technology to graduate.

Joel said those credit hours can come from any of the computer and technology classes.

The board also discussed a $20 fee for the one-on-one computer program. The fee would help cover costs associated with repair or replacement of parts for computers issued to the students.

Technology Director Jim Marsh said the most frequent repairs he sees is replacing charging ports and keyboards. The port replacement is about a $20 fee and the keyboard replacement is about $69.

Board Member Lori Springer said $20 is a similar fee to what she has heard other districts are requiring. Plus, she said it is not unrealistic to expect the students contribute something to repair costs.

After action by the board last week, the district will also now move forward with a partnership with Saunders County Youth Services. Through the partnership, a therapist will be at the school two days per week next school year.

The cost to the district will be $6,000 and Joel said Title IV money is available through the Educational Service Unit to help with the funding.

High School Principal Kolin Haecker said there is a lot of information to support having this type of on-site service available to both students and staff.

The question wrestled with initially was if the therapist should be at the school one or two days per week.

Haicker said the recommendation was to start with two days and then see what the need was.

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