Board chooses company for facilities studyThe Cloquet School Board has selected Kraus-Anderson Construction Company of Circle Pines to conduct a district-wide facilities study which officials hope will be the first step on the road to a new middle school.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The Cloquet School Board has selected Kraus-Anderson Construction Company of Circle Pines to conduct a district-wide facilities study which officials hope will be the first step on the road to a new middle school.
At its Monday night board meeting, board members narrowed the initial field of five applicants down to Kraus-Anderson and TSP, Inc. of Minneapolis.
Board members and Superintendent Ken Scarbrough agreed that both firms had done outstanding work in presentations to the board.
“They all had great technical expertise,” Scarbrough said. “But TSP and Kraus would do an excellent job working with our community to develop consensus, which is what we need.”
In the end, however, members opted for Kraus-Anderson due in part to its ability to show how flexibility in the process could aid in construction.
“They had some outstanding tools to elicit support and put out ideas as far as the different levels of construction that were possible,” Scarbrough added.
Board member Dave Battaglia said he thought TSP would provide the board with the most information and seconded Dan Danielson’s initial motion to select that company, which failed on a 4-2 vote.
The board then unanimously selected Kraus-Anderson, which will work with partners Vox Liberi of Sauk Rapids, Minn., and Architects Rego + Youngquist of Minneapolis at an estimated cost of $16,000 payable after a successful referendum.
Scarbrough also reported to the board on the process of interviewing for an insurance consultant. Incumbent consultant Paul Pederson of Eagan, Minn., will meet with the board on March 11, with Steve Micke of Reliable Agency of Cloquet scheduled to meet with the board at a later date.
Selection of a consultant is important because of the impact new insurance and health laws will have on the negotiation of a new contract with Education Minnesota teachers.
Scarbrough said the teachers have set a goal of May 20 to have negotiations concluded.
“We want to settle as quickly as possible,” he said. “Insurance is a big deal here and we want to try to get that settled as quickly as possible before coming to a resolution with negotiations.”
In other board news, Churchill Elementary Principal Dave Wangen said that he and Washington Elementary Principal Connie Hyde have been selected to work with the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning on a “positive behavior grant.” Wangen and Hyde will have a meeting with other elementary principals and state officials March 7.
Wangen said the schools were selected for the grant because of “behavior issues” that have cropped up among some students at both schools.
“They aren’t major issues but we feel there are issues such as potential autism and ADHD among some students that are not being caught in the roundup process,” Wangen said. “We want to be proactive.”