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School board considers parking lot opportunity

School board considers parking lot opportunity School board considers parking lot opportunity

The Marathon Board of Education last week Wednesday agreed to spend around $11,000 to have Rettler Corp., Stevens Point, engineer and possibly send to bid a 120-space parking lot project at the north end of Marathon Area Elementary School (MAES) after being told Marathon Cheese Corp. is willing to partially develop the lot if the company can use it for a temporary construction staging area.

Parks said Marathon Cheese Corp., which is undertaking an expansion project facing Fourth Street, offered to provide fill dirt and storm sewer for a parking lot if the company could be allowed to stage construction materials on what is now a grassy area near the school starting July 5. The company, said Parks, would take fill dirt excavated along Fourth Street and haul it a short distance to the school site.

Parks said he asked Rettler Corp. to develop some preliminary drawings and cost estimates for the project. He said parking lot construction with installation of sidewalk could cost an estimated $233,000. The superintendent assured school board members that the Marathon Cheese Corp. staging area would be fenced off and there would be no contact between construction workers and students.

Parks said MAES has been in need of a larger parking area for years. He said people have to walk a long distance to the school to attend annual Christmas concerts and other events.

Board member Jodi Debroux abstained from the vote on the Rettler Corp. project.

In other school board business:

_ Board members agreed to grant non-contracted support staff a 35 cent per hour raise and contracted staff a 50 cents per hour raise. The increases calculate to a 2.45 percent pay hike.

_ The board voted to pay spring coaches two-thirds of their contracted stipend and assistant coaches one third of their pay for a season largely not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Board member Ted Knoeck, a track coach, argued that paying a full stipend would show the coaching staff their efforts are appreciated. Board president Brian Gumtz said he would be unable to justify such spending to taxpayers. Knoeck abstained from the vote.

_ Board members agreed not to compensate teachers for lost personal days due to school closure during the COVID- 19 pandemic. The cost of doing so was estimated at $19,300 (on a per diem basis) or $8,540 (according to saved sub­stitute teacher pay). “Just leave it the way it is,” said board member Knoeck.

_ Board members set summer office hours for Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school office will be closed on Friday.

_ The board increased Marathon Venture Academy school lunch prices from $2.90 to $3.00 and Marathon High School lunch prices from $3.00 to $3.20. Breakfast prices will increase from $1.25 to $1.50.

_ District administrator said only small projects are left with the MAES building project. He reported earning $67,000 in interest on the project referendum bond. The project account has a current balance of $178,000, some of which will be owed contractors when a project punchlist has been completed.

_ Board members named officers for the coming term: Lia Klumpyan, WASB delegate; Beth Seubert, CESA 9 representative; Jodi Debroux, Marathon County Children With Disabilities Education Board representative; Jackie Hanke, clerk.

_ Board member Knoeck asked that the board receive electronic packets

that could be accessed from a computer device rather than paper packets.

_ High school principal Dave Beranek reported that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said there should be no mass gathering, including in person graduations, this summer. Drive up ceremonies are not advised either, he said.

Beranek said there was a suggestion to hoist pictures of graduating seniors on Main Street flag poles in Marathon City to honor them, but he didn’t think this was a practical idea. “Our poles are not set up for that,” he said.

_ MAES principal Sarah Budny said a parent survey indicated there is low interest in summer school. Parents said they might send 108 students to an in-building summer school and only 30 students to an online school.

Board member Lia Klumpyan said she was skeptical about holding summer school. “We are going to give ourselves a headache more than anything else,” she said.

_ Board members agreed to hire Nicole Biederwolf as a MAES physical education teacher.

_ Board members approved a list of co-curricular contracts: Gwen Altmann, MAES yearbook; Tera Fieri, middle school forensics; Patti Schalk, Student Council; Connor Ellenbecker, FFA; Heidi Gray, high school yearbook; Kassandra Klump, Math League; Luke Jacobson, FBLA; Anita Krautkramer, concessions; Sue Matthiae, Colorguard; Curtis Miller, athletic director; Jeni Luzinski, MVA Student Council; Luke Jacobson, Athletic Decathlon; Jenifer Aune, high school forensics, AP and National Honor Society; Sarah Sternberg, instrumental music; Justin Paetzel, Tech Ed Club and Skills USA; Dessa Thompson, MVA yearbook; Ryan Einkler, FBLA; Joel Mroczenski, Wellness Center; Joel Mroczenski, Strenth and Conditioning; Cally O’Leary, vocal music.

_ MVA principal Budney said there would be a virtual 8th grade graduation.