Upgrading elementary restrooms; estimates as high as $.5 million
OROVILLE – Brad Scott was added to the Oroville School Board in the second at-large position, bringing the board to a full compliment of five members for the first time in nearly a year.
Voters in the Oroville School District approved a redistricting measure last month combining the district’s boundaries into three sub-districts, rather than four and created a second at-large position. The board placed the measure on the ballot after unsuccessfully finding a candidate to take the place of former school director David Nutt. No one came forward to serve who lived in Nutt’s district so the board reasoned that creating another at-large position might bring forth more candidates.
After an interview at last Monday’s school board meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss the candidate’s qualifications. When they returned board chairman Rocky DeVon entertained a motion to appoint Scott in the empty director’s seat. Director Todd Hill made the motion, it was seconded by Director Travis Loudon and passed unanimously. Superintendent Steve Quick administered the oath of office and Scott took his seat on the board. Scott, who actually lives in the old district where the board was having trouble filling the position, will be required to stand for election at the next general election if Scott choses to remain in the position.
In redistricting Hill will represent Director District #1, Amy Wise, Director District #2 and Loudon, Director District 3. DeVon will remain Director At-Large.
Under ‘Good News and Announcements’ Elementary School Principal Joan Hoehn announced that fourth grader Leo Chen had placed second at the regional Spelling Bee in Wenatchee on March 14.
From there the board went into discussion of facilities upgrades to the elementary school restrooms. Harvey Morrison, a consultant with Roen and Associates from Spokane, which consulted on the elementary roof replacement, was there to answer board questions. The money to fix the restrooms will come from a special voter approved three-year levy to fix the elementary roof (completed) and other projects at that building.
“The guiding issue is that we have to do it per the current code,” said Morrison, explaining that the bathrooms, both north and south, would have to be brought in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Morrison said the plumbing work would be about 25 to 30 percent of the project’s costs and all together if both restrooms are remodeled it could cost between $400,000 and $450,000. He added that the project was more than could be done in house with the maintenance staff and suggested a good plumbing contractor be hired.
“It would be a push to get it done in the summer for all four bathrooms (two boys and two girls). I suggest the district hire an architect. We’d need a plan done by the end of April to give us three weeks to advertise for bids. When school is out then we’ve got to get in to do the demolition,” he said.
Morrison suggested the district get all four bathrooms designed and if it fits the budget to do all four, if not to go for just two. One of the sets of bathrooms had plumbing redone through a grant, while the other has major plumbing issues with the pipes running under the floor. In fact, the water supply was rerouted from the cafeteria when the old pipes went bad, according to Supt. Quick.
“Once we get the bids we will know more about costs,” said Quick.
Director DeVon asked Morrison if the project had to be brought up to ADA standards if only fixtures were replaced and if there was a threshold where ADA was required or not.
“I think if the funds are available we should upgrade to ADA,” said Director Hill.
“I’d like to see it done and done right, but we still have to finish the upgrades to the HVAC system from the bond money,” said Quick.
Shay Shaw, the district’s business manager, said she would be interested in getting some good estimates of costs. She added that the money to do the project will probably be enough if it is in the $400,000 range, however, she reminded the board, the money from the bond is being collected over three years, so not all of it has been collected yet.
“I still have some concerns about costs,” said DeVon.
The board agreed to get some architectural designs made so the project could go out to bid.
The board heard reports from student representative Lily Hilderbrand, Supt. Quick and the two principals. They also heard reports from the winter sports coaches, as well as two teachers who were invited to talk with the board.
This meeting it was third grade teachers Patricia Dagnon and Heather Kelly, who talked about the third grade social studies and science programs.
Dagnon, who teaches science, said the students had visits from representatives from the Okanogan County Conservation District.
“They talked about erosion and deposition one time and another time about plants of the Okanogan,” said Dagon. “The kids really liked it because they could really get hands-on.”
Dagon added that last year Kinross Gold came and gave a presentation and the kids got to play geologist using M&Ms. The students also went on a field trip to Stonerose in Republic to dig for fossils.
“That’s always a big hit,” she said.
Dagon said the third grade has gotten a couple ESD grants, one involving geodes and the other a project where they made wind chimes and learned about how sound travels and behaves.
In learning about the human body the students had a visit from Confluence Health Care and they also made joints from sticks and rubber bands. Another big hit is the assembly featuring Lisa Lindsay of the Okanogan Wildlife League, according to Dagon.
Kelly said that the social studies class has been focussing on the local community and the local environment. She said Kay Sibley, director of the Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society, came to talk with the class.
“She’s a good reference for local history,” said Kelly.
The students also met with George Penner, who dresses in Mountain Man attire and talks about black powder and early settlers to the area, according to Kelly.
“Another big portion of our studies is on the Native Americans in the area. It is important to see real people and their connection to our area,” she said.
Kelly said the two teachers went to Waterville to learn more about the Leader In Me program.
“We saw some great murals and art, Mrs. Dagnon got inspired,” Kelly said, and showed a slide of a new mural Dagon has done at the elementary school.
Brad Scott appointed as school director