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District will issue $1.66M in bonds

By a unanimous roll call vote, Red Wing School Board voted to give Finance Director Brad Johnson the authority to move forward with the bonds that will cover the costs of building the new tennis courts and track at the high school as well as repairs to Prairie Island Arena.

“Talking to some of our bond advisers it is a good time to bond,” Johnson said. “By bonding and using that money to pay debt service we’re able to stretch the impact of those dollars.”

Johnson said the district did something similar with the bonds for the Burnside Elementary School roof.

This is just a resolution stating the intent to sell the bonds, he said, and the board should see another resolution in June when the bonds are sold.

The total dollar amount will be around $1.66 million, Johnson said, adding this takes care of some important pieces of deferred maintenance for the district.

One of the biggest reasons for bonding for these projects is the ability to keep the fund balance intact and using one bond for all these projects should save the district around $20,000 in costs as opposed to multiple bonds, Johnson said.

School Board briefs

Principal selection

Supt. Karsten Anderson said the district has received a little over 20 applicants for both open principal positions for the 2014-15 school year.

The retirement of Patti Roberts from Sunnyside Elementary and the reassignment of Beth Borgen from Red Wing High School principal to director of support services left the district with the open positions.

Two rounds of interviews will be conducted for each position, Anderson said, and the tentative schedule is to have the positions filled by May 2.

The interview teams will consist of administrators, teachers and parents.

Applications for the positions were due to the district by April 18.

Program reductions made for Twin Bluff

The change in schedule for the upcoming school year also means a change for some teachers at Twin Bluff Middle School.

The Board voted unanimously Monday to reduce the full-time equivalency of one social studies position by .67 and one science position by .07 for the 2014-15 school year.

Supt. Karsten Anderson said the reductions resulted from the change in formula used to calculate FTE after the middle school moves to its new schedule, adding some teachers also saw an increase in FTE due to the new schedule.

The reductions, which passed after the board’s approval of the $1.66 million in bonds for athletic facilities, are in no way related, Anderson said.

“I want to emphasize we’re talking about two different categories of money,” he said. The bonding money will be paid back from the district’s operating capital and health and safety levy.

“Those categories cannot be used to pay for teachers’ salaries or other general fund expenditures,” Anderson said.

Land purchase deal with GCED nears

Supt. Anderson said the district is still working with the Goodhue County Education District on the land purchase agreement for the new GCED facility scheduled to break ground sometime this fall.

Finance Director Brad Johnson is taking the lead on the agreement, Anderson said, and a rough draft of the agreement has been sent to the district’s attorney for review.

Anderson said he hopes to bring that agreement before the board for approval soon, but all parties involved want to make sure they get it right since this building will be used for decades to come.

Speech team update

Heather Finholm, Red Wing High School speech team coach, spoke to the School Board Monday night and praised her team, which recently completed its competitive season. She said each one of the 21 members of the team represented Red Wing well throughout the season.

The team brought five team trophies back to Red Wing from various competitions and three competitors made it to the final rounds at the section competition.

Riley Larson and Emily Meier, who will be co-captains of the speech team next season, gave their speeches for the board.

Personnel changes approved

New hire: Lorrie Kuglin, Title I teacher at Sunnyside Elementary School, effective April 7 through June 5.

Transfer: Mike Pagel, Title I and technology teacher at Burnside Elementary School, effective for the 2014-15 school year (new position); Jill Berghammer, developmental cognitive disabilities teacher at Red Wing High School, effective for the 2014-15 school year (due to retirement).

FMLA: Tamie Guenther, baker at Sunnyside Elementary School, effective April 3.

Resignation: Neal Newman, sixth-grade math teacher at Twin Bluff Middle School, retraction of resignation on June 6. Newman’s resignation is effective April 11.

Overnight trip request

The board approved, as part of the consent agenda, an overnight trip request for the cross-country team’s invitational in Alexandria Oct. 3-5.

Meeting watch

Monday’s meeting lasted approximately 50 minutes. Board members Mike Christensen and Emily Baldwin were absent.

The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday May 5 at City Hall.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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