WCCSD to purchase WC Fed property

At Monday’s meeting of the Webster City Community School District Board of Directors, the board approved a purchase agreement for the current Webster City Federal Savings Bank building on Des Moines Street in Webster City.

The purchase had been previously discussed during closed session meetings of the board. Superintendent Mike Sherwood said that the district’s administrative offices will be housed in that building in the future. He said there is no current timeline for the move, but he expects it to occur this fall. The Hamilton Regional High School will also be moved into the current administrative building once they move.

The cost of the bank’s current location is waiting to be appraised. The cost of the sale will not exceed $200,000, as Sherwood said the terms of the agreement between the district and the bank said that any cost over that $200,000 will be considered a gift from the seller to the buyer.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the board held a public hearing on proposed renovation plans for this summer. The estimated cost of the renovations comes in at $1.5 million.

Planned renovations at Pleasant View Elementary include boiler upgrades, domestic water line upgrades, asbestos abatement, classroom remodeling with new ADA compliant doors, changes to ceilings and lighting, new lockers, a new AC and heating unit, and restroom renovations.

Sunset Heights Elementary will see upgrades to a boiler, water lines, classrooms, ceilings, lighting and lockers. There will also be asbestos abatement and sinks moved at the school.

Webster City High School will see changes as well, with new air and heating units, asbestos abatement and a remodeling of the hallway to the auditorium with additional lockers installed.

Bids are planned to be opened for the project on May 2, with a special board meeting on that date at 6 p.m. to consider received bids.

During the meeting, Lori Hartnett, assistant food service director for the district, presented an overview of the districts food service program. She said that participation in the program is down, with an average of about 82 percent across the district. The food service program has had to juggle the wants and needs of students while adhering to USDA regulations that went into effect in July of 2012. Those guidelines are being phased in every year, and next year will see further restrictions on sodium intake and adding in more whole grain items to meals.

Hartnett also announced that the district will host a summer food program beginning on June 10 at Webster City Middle School from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during weekdays. She said that there has been an increase of children telling district staff that they don’t have any food at home, and that over half of students in the district now qualify for free or reduced cost meals.

The summer food program will provide free meals to children with no criteria that is funded through the state. The hook is that the district must average 125 children served per day to continue the program after the month of June. Adults can also go to the food program, but must pay $3.50 per meal.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of a handicap accessible bus for $108,853 from Blue Bird, which was the only bid received for the purchase. Sherwood said that he is looking into making district buses internet accessible in connection with the districts 1-to-1 technology program.