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STC School Board moves forward on a middle school bond decision

November 11, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

As the South Tama School Board comes closer to a decision on whether to pursue a bond issue for a new middle school, physical plant equipment levy (PPEL) or both, Superintendent Jared Smith outlined a plan of action at the Monday night, Nov. 4 regular board meeting.

During the middle school discussion Monday, Smith presented a calendar detailing the next steps to be taken beginning next week. The board has indicated it is considering a March, 2020 election date.

They include what is called a check-in meeting with the referendum support team on Nov. 12, to be followed that day by a community engagement meeting from 5-7 p.m. in the high school Little Theatre with all interested community members invited to attend.

Article Photos

South Tama Superintendent Jared Smith

Next comes a tour for all community members on Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. of the vacant Iowa Juvenile Home campus in Toledo which has been proposed as a possible site for a new middle school.

A site recommendation by Invision Architects will be made to the South Tama School Board at a Dec. 2 regular school board meeting. That meeting is also set for the high school Little Theatre to begin at 5 p.m. with the public again encouraged to attend. Following this, in the second week of December, the Invision group will host a site visitation day with staff and community able to provide feedback on the plan.

Another meeting of the Referendum Support Team members only is also on the schedule for the second week in December.

To place a bond issue on the ballot it is required 25 percent of the voters in the previous school election sign a petition asking for the measure to be brought to a vote.

In a vote in September, 2013, the PPEL issue failed 150 NO - 149 YES. In February, 2014 it was again before voters who rejected it by a vote of 435 NO - 303 YES.

An $18,000 contract was approved on Sept. 23 by the school board with the Donovan Group, a Cedar Falls consulting firm which was hired to provide communication services for the potential vote or votes. The Invision architectural firm based in Waterloo and Des Monies was hired on Oct. 23 to provide planning of a new building to replace the present middle school in Toledo unders $20,000 contract.

The school board hired Estes Construction in December of last year at a cost of $12,500 to provide a facilities assessment of the STC District buildings. The board received an in depth, 10-part evaluation of the four school buildings, their property and the athletic facilities.

The results were evaluated by school personnel and community members over the summer.


Middle School Soccer

Board members voted to approve a middle school soccer program as proposed by Scott Bolen, middle school dean of students and activities director. It will be offered as a dual sport opportunity with students able to participate in spring track as well as soccer. Practice would be on Clark Field, the old football field just east of the middle school, with games on the high school practice field.

Some concern about concussions resulting in the sport was expressed by Board President Penny Tyynismaa. It was reported more concussions result in soccer than football. Supt. Smith said communication about this concern showed recognition of it and no "heading" will be allowed at practice. Headers enable the player to pass, clear or shoot the ball with their heads according to sport guidelines.

South Tama will face Williamsburg and Marion middle schools in the initial season for both home and away matches. An admission fee would be charged to help pay for officiating.

In business Monday board members:

approved Maureen Hanson, Hudson, as the representative of Director District 6 on the Central Rivers AEA Board of Directors. Hudson currently serves in the position representing the school districts in addition to South Tama of BGM, Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Grinnell-Newberg, Hudson, Montezuma, North Tama and Union.

accepted the retirement request of Roy Frakes, high school principal at the end of the 2018-20 school year; accepted the resignation of Chad Woosley, transportation director, effective Dec. 31.

approved final reading of Conflict of interset Policy for school board members and first reading of the Auxiliary Services policy.



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