Remodeling project gets rave reviews

HARTINGTON — The renovation project at Hartington Public School has brought some surprising results.

Hartington School Supt. Randy Anderson said it is amazing to see how the remodeling has changed students’ attitudes.

“The students are very proud and respectful of everything that has happened,” Anderson said at the Aug. 20 School Board meeting.

The remodeling included installing walls between the junior high and high school classrooms, the extension of a hallway, and new paint and carpet.

“I am grateful to the board for following ideas and assembling what we have put together,” Anderson said. “I think it speaks highly of your commitment to education of the students in this district.”

Anderson read a “thank you” letter school board members and the administration received from the Hartington Student Council.

“Making these changes will allow students and teachers to get more out of their classes through increased focus and a greater ability to engage in discussion without worrying about disrupting other classes,” Student Council members  said in the letter.

The remodeling project removes the last of the Open Concept education platform from when the school was originally built in 1973.

In other action at last week’s meeting, Principal Russell Flamig said the new year is rolling right along.

“It is hectic and busy as ever, but that is normal.”

“There were a few complaints the first few days about bus routes because people were getting off later at night than they were used to because they haven’t done it for a long time,” Flamig said. “Other than that, it has been worked out real well.”

A new program called “Heads Up” is being created for athletes to raise awareness about concussions and keep them safe. The coaches will be required to take training for concussion awareness and athletes will take baseline testing. The testing establishes a baseline for how each athlete normally functions. If an athlete sustains a head injury, they would take the test again to see whether it was a concussion by looking at the baseline.

Dr. Connie Micek, Avera Medical Clinic, has volunteered to pay for the computer program for the test, according to Flamig

Board members also considered including New York City in the Close-up Trip to Washington D.C. Doing so would add two more days to the trip and an additional $650, making the total cost $2,367. Anderson said there is a two-year time frame available so money could be brought in from fund raisers.

Some Board members expressed concerns about the added financial burden. Board member Colin Kathol said fundraising has consequences for the students, too.

“In my personal opinion, I think we should just stick with the original trip,” Kathol said. “I mean they are fundraising at every basketball game and that is taking them away from pep band and other activities.”

Board members gave Anderson the responsibility of working with the parents and students in order to arrive at a decision.

Board members were also told there is a need to replace bus radios. The cost will be around $5,700. After the initial cost, fees to use the tower will be $500 a year.

Everything is in place for the technology bond which will provide funds to incorporate new technology into the school along with an upgrade for the computer labs.

The Nebraska Technology Cooperative includes Crofton, Hartington, Wayne and Norfolk.

Hartingtonl’s bond is scheduled to be paid off in one year. With the school district’s valuation the cost to taxpayers will be minimal, Anderson said.

“My purpose was to do a one-year term and then turn around and do another bond so we could increase the access of technology to students at a very minimal charge,” Anderson said.

The next meeting will be Sept. 17.