Summer projects get board’s nod

NEW ULM — New Ulm Public Schools Board of Education approved a summer bid and an activity contract Thursday evening.

During its April meeting the board examined the lowest of two bids for the Jefferson Elementary ceiling project.

It also heard an agreement with Lafayette Charter School (LCS) for participation in middle school sports.

“We have ceilings in Jefferson where the old acoustical tiles that were glued to the ceiling have been falling down for years,” Superintendent Jeff Bertrang said.

Two bids were opened on April 13 from ARR Construction, LLC, and Heymann Construction, with no contractors present.

ARR had the low bid of $112,267. Heymann’s bid was $116,672. The project will replace acoustic panels with a suspended ceiling grid, similar to the current middle school.

The cost includes moving the heating ductwork, fire suppression systems and installing the framework. The ceiling should be finished by Aug. 15.

The board also approved a school activity participation agreement. It will allow LCS students to join middle school athletics.

“This agreement is pretty much a mirror of what we did with St. Paul’s when it comes to junior high participation,” Bertrang said.

The agreement is restricted to only seventh and eighth-grade students. Each student will have to pay their activity fee and meet the middle school’s eligibility requirements.

LCS students must provide their own transportation and none will be allowed in varsity sports.

If enough LCS students participate to put the middle school over the threshold to hire additional coaching staff, the request will be denied.

For its part, the public district will provide equipment and supervision for each activity.

In other business, board member Matt Ringhofer reported that the River Bend Education District is looking for a new, larger building.

The increased demand for programs offered at River Bend have pushed some administrative staff off-site and the district would like to have everything under one roof.

“They have to find a facility that can hopefully be able to accommodate a gymnasium-type area, an area for flexible learning, like you would want to have, and then enough classroom space to meet all the needs of the different programs,” Ringhofer said.

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at