Parkview tabs movers, appraiser for Newark
ORFORDVILLE The Parkview School Board hired an appraiser and mover Monday as the district prepares to close Newark Elementary and sell the property.
After months of contentious meetings, Monday marked the first time in months that no one spoke during public comment and only a handful of residents and staff members attended.
Last month, the board voted to close Newark at the end of this school year while keeping Footville Elementary open for next year.
The board's actions follow an April referendum in which voters overwhelmingly turned down spending $5 million on an addition to Orfordville Elementary School. Voters also elected three new board members who ran on a platform of closing Newark now and Footville when enrollment drops enough to fit all students into Orfordville.
Monday, the board approved Duesterbeck & Associates' bid of no more than $3,000 to appraise Newark. Superintendent Steve Lutzke recommended the firm's bid, saying it was his impression it was most qualified and experienced in school appraisals.
The appraisal should be complete by early July. The board then would decide how to market the building, he said. The district has no buyer yet, he said.
The board also approved a bid of $4,600 from Badgerland Movers to assist in moving equipment and supplies from Newark to Footville and Orfordville.
Lutzke said equipment in Newark's classrooms would follow each teacher to his or her new classroom at Orfordville or Footville. All Newark teachers will be reassigned, but support staff will be reduced by three positions, he said.
No decisions have been made on those positions.
Most of the instructional materials, fixtures and supplies will be redistributed, Lutzke said.
The Parkview School Board approved changes to the district's health insurance plan for 2012-13. The district was facing a plan renewal increase of 7.9 percent, but the changes will create a 16.14-percent savings in its plan renewal, business manager Pat Miller said.
Costs will increase for employees on prescription drugs, office visit co-pays will increase from 0 to $20 and emergency room co-pays will increase from $25 to $100.
The district also will add a $1,000 single and $2,000 family deductible, but the district plans to create a health reimbursement account to pay those deductibles. Even though the district is paying the deductible for the employee, the creation of a deductible brings the overall premium cost down for a 13.53-percent savings to the district, Miller said.