Golf teams honored, tour of Administration Building at Laurel school trustee meeting

Chris Mcconnell
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Outlook photo by Chris McConnell                        Laurel Public Schools Facilities Director Wayne Fjare and maintenance staff member Bill Shunkweiler discuss the challenges the district faces in maintaining the aging Administration building and gymnasium during a tour of the facility at Monday’s trustee meeting.

Outlook photo by Chris McConnell
          
            Laurel Public Schools Facilities Director Wayne Fjare and maintenance staff member Bill Shunkweiler discuss the challenges the district faces in maintaining the aging Administration building and gymnasium during a tour of the facility at Monday’s trustee meeting.

Laurel School Board trustees and school administrators discuss the ongoing challenges in maintaining the former Middle School gym on Monday night.

Laurel School Board trustees and school administrators discuss the ongoing challenges in maintaining the former Middle School gym on Monday night.

Activities Director Roger Heimbigner recognized the 2019 LHS State Champion golf teams at the beginning of Monday’s school board meeting. The boy’s golf team won their third consecutive State title this fall, and the girls team won their second in a row. “Five state championships is three years is awesome,” he said, “I’m proud of these kids and their efforts.”

Head Golf Coach Jim O’Neil introduced both teams and said they were not only excellent golfers but “they represent Laurel High School and the community well. They are committed to the classroom and exhibit positive behaviors on and off the course.”

O’Neil also thanked the LHS administrators for supporting the teams. “Shawnda [Zahara], Roger [Heimbigner] and Bryan [Kott] have been so good to us. All the kids have to worry about is getting off the bus and playing golf.”

Superintendent Linda Filpula thanked the board members, administrators, staff and community “who worked tirelessly to get the land purchase approved” in the recent election. The next step she said is to get the appraisal done to finalize the purchase. She said the land appraisal is “part of the process,” which is the first step in the Laurel School District’s 10–15 year Master Facility Plan. After the purchase is finalized plans will move forward to build a new grade 3–5 elementary school and bus barn on the property. Per the MFP, the new school and transportation hub will address overcrowding issues at Graff and the Middle School.

Further plans are to remodel Graff for use as the administration building as well as housing pre–kindergarden and kindergarden students. The next phase of the MFP would be to sell the current administration building and South School.

Facilities Director Wayne Fjare then led the trustees and administrators through the administration building and gymnasium to highlight the current maintenance issues with the buildings.

“Maintaining these buildings for the next 5–7 years will be a challenge. There are some structural issues,” he said.

A few problems he highlighted during the tour were the aging steam boilers which he said are not in wide use anymore. “Repairs are difficult and there is only one person in the state who can work on them. We would like to add controls to monitor them remotely rather than having to come in and check at night,” he said.

Fjare also pointed out how the floor was heaving in the Explorer Academy classrooms and how the walls were cracking in the basement and gymnasium.

He said at future board meetings he would show the trustees and administrators the maintenance and structural issues in other district buildings.

The board approved Superintendent Filpula’s appointment to the Yellowstone County Interdisciplinary Child Information and School Safety Team as the representative of the Laurel School board who is authorized to sign a written agreement and be a voting member of the TEAM. The appointment is a result of the 2019 Legislature mandate that the county commissioners of each county form an interdisciplinary child information and school safety team. The purpose of the TEAM is to facilitate the exchange of information in cases of children or groups of children who may be abused, neglected or delinquent, and to provide services to those kids.

West School Principal Kelly Anderson thanked Montana Rail Link for a donation to Graff, West and South schools of 21 safety vests and two jackets valued at $1,450. Kelly said the workwear will make the crossing guards more visible and serve to increase safety around the schools during arrival and dismissal times. “We thank you (MRL) for your support. You are making a difference in the lives of our supervisors and students, and we are grateful,” she said.

In other business:

• LHS teacher Jacob Evans was hired as boy’s assistant high school basketball coach.

• Due to the district being unable to fill two boy’s assistant basketball coaching positions the hiring committee recommended offering Evans a second assistant boys basketball contract and a contract to Head Boys Coach Paul Barta to coach the freshmen and B–squad teams going forward. They district will continue to advertise the positions until the first game in December. The board unanimously approved the hires.

• Carrie Graham was hired as Secretary for West School. The hiring committee stated Graham had experience as an Administrative Assistant and with Child/ Youth Programs.

Category:

Upcoming Events

Monday, December 9, 2019
• Christmas to Remember meeting, second Monday, 1 p.m., at Reese & Ray’s IGA, call 248-8557 for information
Monday, December 9, 2019
• Council Catholic Women (CCW), second Monday, 6:30 p.m., St. Anthony’s Catholic Church
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Monday, December 16, 2019
Corinthian Lodge No. 72, AF&AM, first & third Monday, 7:30 p.m., Masonic Temple, Laurel Masonic Temple, 9900 Airport Road (except July-August)

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