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Local News

Superintendent's Platform

WBCH offers this space to area school superintendents to highlight news in their districts. This posting is from Hastings Area School System Superintendent Carrie Duits.

 

“In 2015 voters in the Hastings Area Schools System approved a bond proposal, which is providing our students with safer and updated learning facilities. These improvements are sure to enhance our students’ educational environment and opportunities. Now the Hastings Area School System Board of Education is asking voters to consider two proposals during a special school election in November.

 

The first proposal is a no mill increase from the current mills, and it uses capitalized interest for $10.5 million to remodel elementary schools, provide student technology devices, remodel the 1997 portion of the middle school, remodel locker rooms at the middle school and high school and provide new roofs on all schools.

 

The second proposal is a $19.5 million bond taking advantage of the State-offered School Bond Loan Fund. This second proposal is a 0.5 mill increase for remodeling major areas of the high school, providing increased technology for instruction and security, purchasing new school buses, constructing a new transportation office building, stadium concession building and bleachers and press box, and upgrading athletic fields, facilities and sites. If approved the bonds would further enhance the improvements made possible by the 2015 bond.

 

Taking advantage of the School Bond Loan Fund may or may not be available to us in the future. The total proposal (0.5) is 1/10 of the increase for the current projects (4.0 mills) and the sinking funds (1.0 mills) combined.

 

Students and families are already benefiting from improved entrances and reconfigured offices at each elementary building in the district as well as other structural updates and improvements. Phase 4 of the bond project is currently in the design phase and includes mechanical and heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) upgrades for all elementary schools as well as site and drainage work at Star Elementary. The work for Phase 4 will be in the summer of 2018.

 

When school resumes next month, 6th and 7th grade students will see some renovations to the 1954 portion of the middle school. The new addition is on schedule to be ready for use by spring 2018, while work continues on the construction of the performing arts center and classroom renovations at the high school, slated to be complete in 2018.

In other action the board approved:

 

• Authorized district administration to charge tuition and/or transportation fees to non-resident students during the 2017-2018 school year

 

• Authorized the superintendent to discipline students in accordance with provisions as described in current policies

 

• Approved making arrangements with First Agency, Inc. of Kalamazoo to provide student accident insurance coverage with Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company for those parents and guardians who wish to purchase it during the 2017-2018 school year

 

• Approved the following personnel appointments

 

• Accepted an installment purchase agreement from Commercial Bank to finance the purchase of five school buses

 

• Set athletic activity admission process for the 2017-2018 school year—high school athletic activities, $5 for adults and students, middle school athletic activities, $3 for adults, $2 for students; passes (except for any tournament or invitational) for both middle and high school activities—Student Pass-- $40 for admission to all sporting events during a season, Adult Pass-- $80 for admission to all sporting events during a season, All-Season Family Pass-- $200 for admission for all immediate family members who are residents to all sporting events during all seasons

 

• Approved participation in the National School Lunch Program and related programs and provide a breakfast program during the 2017-2018 school year and the following cost schedule-- $1.60 for a full-price breakfast; $.30 for reduced-price breakfast; $2.80 for a full-price, type A student lunch; $.40 for a reduced-price, type A student lunch; and $3.75 for an adult lunch

 

• Accepted a bid from Hurst mechanical in the amount of $25,000 to complete control and mechanical work at the Community Education and Recreation Center (CERC)

 

• Announced its next regular meeting would be conducted at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21 in the multi-purpose room of Central Elementary, 509 S. Broadway, Hastings.

 

We are excited to share the progress of our facilities with students, families and the community.  Please remember schools starts on August 28th.”   

 

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