Board OK’s lease, contingent on renovation bidsThe Red Wing School Board has approved a lease for its new employer-sponsored health clinic. But that document won’t officially be signed until the board’s finance committee gets to look over bids for the renovations that need to be done to the space.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
The Red Wing School Board has approved a lease for its new employer-sponsored health clinic. But that document won’t officially be signed until the board’s finance committee gets to look over bids for the renovations that need to be done to the space.
In a 5-2 vote, the board tentatively approved a 36-month lease with Youth Outreach, which will provide half of its building at 410 Guernsey Lane — or 750 square feet — for the clinic. Board members Janie Farrar and Mike Christensen opposed the vote.
According to the lease, the district will pay an annual rent of $11,408 in two installments each year.
“We feel we got a fair lease rate,” Finance Director Brad Johnson said.
However, a few board members raised concerns about officially signing off on the lease before knowing exactly what it will cost to renovate the space. Johnson said it would take roughly three weeks to get bids back.
Not yet knowing what the renovations will cost prompted School Board member Paul Kramp to make that motion to approve the lease contingent on review of the bids.
“I’d just like to have more definition of what we’re dealing with,” he said. “I don’t want to find out all of a sudden that it’s going to cost double.”
Farrar also asked about the hiring process for clinic staff. Hiring of the nurse practitioner or physician assistant is up to the district’s insurance provider Health Partners. There also have been delays in that process.
“I think we need a little more detail on the hiring process,” Farrar said.
“We can’t have a building without a person to staff it,” board member Mike Christensen added. “(It would be) all dressed up and no place to go.”
But board member Steve Anderson told the board they should move forward.
“We’ve made a commitment to this. I think it’s time to make a leap of faith,” he said, adding he’s worried that delaying the lease approval might delay the hiring process.
The clinic was negotiated into school district employees’ health insurance plans last year. It will be available to employees and their dependents and will provide basic services — such as checkups, diagnosis of basic ailments, some lab work and monitoring of chronic issues.
The clinic was originally planned to open Jan. 2, but delays in finding a building and a nurse practitioner or physician assistant to have pushed back the opening.
In the meantime, school district employees will be able to be reimbursed for services they receive that would have been covered by the clinic.
The tentatively approved lease includes a clause that should Youth Outreach sell the building while the lease is in effect, the district will be reimbursed for some of the renovation costs.
Youth Outreach board member Brian Peterson spoke at Monday’s meeting, assuring community members that the organization aimed at helping students stay in school will continue to operate out of the other half of its building.
“Youth Outreach is staying in business,” Peterson said. “We really see this as a great opportunity to build our partnership with the school district.”