New London School District signs contract for 5-year extended warranty on hotly-debated track

NEW LONDON ? After several months of back and forth between the New London School Board and Hackett Construction over the resiliency of patched asphalt of New London?s new track, the two parties have finally come to an agreement of an extended five-year warranty on the areas where repairs were made.

During the New London School Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, District Superintendent Chad Wahls read the revised contract between Hackett Construction and the school district, approved by the district?s lawyer. The school board agreed to the terms. The contract has been sent to Hackett Construction to be signed before it is to be signed by the district.

The contract states that the extended warranty is due to the failure of the original work to meet the plans and specifications for the track. Corrections will be made if the asphalt warps from heat, swells or cracks. Repairs made will be sufficient to correct the failures of the asphalt. An architect will perform yearly inspections per the contract?s requirements at no additional cost to the school.

With one construction project put behind them, the school board began talking about plans to remodel classrooms in Clark Elementary. The board began plans for the remodel last year, but it was put on hold until summer 2018. Wahls reached out to the companies who bid last year to see if they wanted to stand by their bid for this summer.

Sleepy Hallows and Paul Yoder both bid on the project. Sleepy Hallows estimated $22,000 for materials. Because they do not do installation themselves, they reached out to a second company for an additional $2,800. Paul Yoder bid $24,900, which includes the installation fee. The board voted to contract Sleepy Hallows.

In addition to classroom remodeling, the board hopes to have a new electronic message board in place to welcome students back to school next fall. As Wahls announced the specifications of the electronic message board, he looked at Chris Selby, New London Athletic Director, and said, ?Chris wants to do a little happy dance.?

The board will be almost 14 feet high with a two-sided monitor that can be programed to shut off during slower-trafficked evening hours. The company installing it will work with the city of New London to work out lighting regulations. At that time if there are any fees, the school district will be billed.

The sign will read ?New London,? ?Tigers,? and will have a tiger head, all of which are illuminated. It also will have the ability to be programed to show pictures of athletic events, plays, or various school activities.

Installing the sign is a 12-week process from start to finish. Wahls said he hopes it can be installed by the end of July. Funds for the sign are coming out of the Physical Plant and Equiptment Levy (PPEL).

In other news, Jennifer Campbell, a New London Middle School English teacher, implored the school board to consider raises for the district?s building secretaries during the open forum.

?I feel like it?s necessary to speak on behalf of my colleagues tonight,? Campbell began. ?I acknowledge that every person is replaceable; however, in my personal experience with the high school secretary during my tenure here of almost 16 years in New London, I cannot imagine the office running the way it does without every detail she ensures on a daily basis.?

Campbell went on to say that the building secretaries are a wealth of information for teachers, parents and guests entering the building. Campbell said that as someone directly impacted by the secretary?s work every day, she felt like she needed to come speak for them, adding that the high school secretary has been with the district for almost 20 years.

?My question is, is (their salary) appropriate for what they do here?? she asked the school board.

Leaving them with that thought, the board continued with their agenda, moving to approve several items.

One of the items approved is renewing the eighth-graders class trip. Last year was the first year teachers took the eighth-grade students on an overnight trip to St. Louis. Teachers reported last year?s trip went ?exceptionally? well, adding that there was a lot of educational value in the experience and requesting approval to continue the tradition.

?That?s what we talked about last year,? Wahls said. ?We don?t want it one and done. We want to continue to provide the opportunity for every eighth-grade class.?

The trip is paid for through fundraisers and donations.

The board also approved the 2019 proposed budget. They will be holding a budget hearing during the next New London School Board meeting on Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m.