Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1043812

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 22, 2014

Mid-Prairie board gets per student utility costs

By Mary Zielinski | Aug 14, 2013

WELLMAN — Major costs in the Mid-Prairie School District is for utilities, and Monday the Mid-Prairie board learned it averages $211 per pupil to keep the pipes unfrozen and the lights on.
“When we are asked about what the $6,000 per pupil state allocation pays,” said Superintendent Mark Schneider, “$211 is for utilities.”
As the detailed maintenance report showed, it is a “reasonable” figure that averages out to 23 cents per square foot for all five attendance centers.  In the last few years, the use of geothermal heating and cooling systems has further reduced costs by percentages ranging from 8 to 32 percent, with weather an equal factor.
Custodian Mike TeBockhorst also noted, “We have buildings that did not have air conditioning before.”
The presentation also addressed the question that if the district increased physical facility space, what would be the effect on maintenance personnel.  Schneider noted that maintenance people have been added and that large relatively open areas take less maintenance.  Figures in the report, which include salary, equipment and other costs, are based on the 2012-13 enrollment of 1,235 students.
While there are no official figures yet for the 2012-13 academic year, High School Principal Jim Cayton said that, right now, there are 378 high school students with a record 105 member freshman class.
New preschool director Bill Poock, who is also the principal for Wellman Elementary, said that the district has 282 preschoolers, a figure that includes 11 in the new program for three-year-olds.
In other business, the board:
• accepted the diary product low bid from Anderson Erickson and the low bid for diesel from Kalona Oil Company.  Other bidders were Prairie Farms for dairy and Agriland FS for fuel;
• received and accepted the fiscal 2013 treasurer’s report that shows a balance of more than $7.1 million;
• learned that parents were pleased with the waiver of registration fees;
• approved bank depositories: Bankers Trust, Des Moines, Hills Bank & trust, Federal Bank and Freedom Security Bank, all in the district; and
• held a work session specifically to discuss building projects in the district ranging from heating and cooling systems to a new Central office and an additional middle school gym.  Included in the discussion was what effect any possible changes in the district boundaries could have and how it could impact a proposed bond issue. Another work session on the issue will be held in September.

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