By John Raffel
The McBain Board of Education discussed the preschool program at its meeting last weekend and was informed that building it across the street would be at an estimated $2.3 million.
If it’s built off the kindergarten wing, the estimate would be $600,191.
“We own some of the lots to the west of the school so building over there would be a possibility,” superintendent Steve Brimmer said. “If we build off the end of the elementary school, it would create a much smaller playground for us.
“We are in the very initial stages of looking at this and we have not determined how funding it would be handled yet. First, we are trying to determine if there is a need, and if so, where could we put the potential pre-school. No firm decisions have been made at this point.
Also at the meeting, the board congratulated the Robotics team for making it to state completion.
The board discussed the varsity softball team’s request to practice at city fields.
“They want to use the city fields so that the JV and varsity can both practice at the same time,” Brimmer said. “As it stands now, it is difficult for both teams to practice on the same days.
They also discussed the message from the ISA board meetings that substitute teachers are in a very tight situation.
“McBain was having problems securing subs until we hired a full-time sub to fill in where needed,” Brimmer said. “There simply are not many people becoming substitute teachers right now and it’s a problem that all districts are facing.”
It was noted a land sale in Falmouth would involve several steps.
“We were approached by a group asking if they could purchase part of a 40-acre parcel that the school owns,” Brimmer said. “The title work showed that if we use the land for anything other than a school forest, the ownership of the land reverts back to the State of Michigan. Therefore, we were unable to sell the land to the group that had inquired.”
The board discussed spring sports unpaid coaches leaving early.
“We decided that paid coaches would be allowed to leave early to attend events,” Brimmer said. “Unpaid assistant coaches would need to remain at school due, in part, to the extreme shortage of subs.”
The board voted to accept the nominations of Jean Owinga, Phil Beerens and Lisa Waner for the Michigan Education Association’s OPIE award.
“The OPIE awards stand for Outstanding Person in Education Awards,” Brimmer said. “We have three employees that will be receiving the awards.”
The board approved the proposal on a new water heater.
“A water heater that was installed in 1998 had actually corroded through,” Brimmer said. “Since this water provided hot water to the kitchen, we needed it replaced as soon as possible.”
The board also approved a motion to OK the proposal of a new back blade.
“It’s a snowplow that hooks to the back of one our plow trucks. The previous blade had worn out,” Brimmer said.
Board members approved the recommendation of principal Joel Bronkema to hire Heather Short as senior high school administrative assistant. The board passed the recommendation from Brimmer to hire Kim Schonert as a summer groundskeeper.
The board approved the website-host proposal.
“The new website host is Foxbright,” Brimmer said. “They will create a site that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. There is a big push right now for districts to have websites that are ADA compliant.”