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Helmut Schmidt, Published April 14 2014

Moorhead School Board approves bids for additions to Robert Asp, Probstfield

MOORHEAD – Two of the city’s elementary schools will have more room this fall.

The Moorhead School Board voted 7-0 Monday to approve bids on classroom and gymnasium expansions for Robert Asp Elementary and the Probstfield Center for Education.

The combined bids for the projects came in about $97,000 under estimates, interim Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Larson said.

The work at Robert Asp will cost $2,372,611, or about $29,000 more than the $2,343,583 estimate.

Robert Asp will gain 10,889 square feet with the addition of a gymnasium, athletic storage and office, bathrooms, kindergarten room and resource room.

The work at Probstfield will cost $4,678,373, or about $126,000 less than the estimate of $4,804,534.

Probstfield will gain 21,394 square feet of space with the addition of a gymnasium, eight kindergarten rooms, athletic storage and office, two resource rooms and bathrooms. Another 998 square feet will come with the construction of a corridor to tie the addition into the rest of the school.

The work is part of an ambitious set of construction projects to prepare the district to handle nearly 700 more students expected in the next five years.

Work on an 11,000 square-foot addition to S.G. Reinertson Elementary will be bid next year with construction expected to start next spring.

In other business:

E Students won’t have to make up two days of class time lost to bad weather, so their school year ends June 4.

The board voted 7-0 to have district staff make up the lost days with training on June 5 and 6.

Work time for teachers already scheduled for June 5 will be made up with flex time determined at the building level.

Professional development scheduled for high school teachers June 5 will also be made up.

E The board voted 4-3 to approve a three-year contract for Superintendent Lynne Kovash after a debate that was, at times, spirited.

Kovash is being paid $156,917 for the 2013-14 school year. She receives 25 days of vacation and family health insurance.

The new contract calls for Kovash to receive an increase in salary and benefits of 3.83 percent, or $7,206.09, in 2014-15; 2.75 percent, or $5,370.62, in 2015-16; and 2.29 percent, or $4,608.61, in 2016-17.

The yearly average is 2.95 percent, or $5,728.44.

Board members Matt Valan and Laurie Johnson initially called for a one-year contract for Kovash.

Meanwhile, board member Scott Steffes said he didn’t like that he received the contract information late Friday, which he said was not enough time to research the issue. Steffes also said he preferred a two-year contract, like those negotiated with teachers and staff.

A motion for a two-year contract failed on a 3-4 vote, with board members Bill Tomhave, Carol Ladwig, Lisa Erickson and Chairwoman Cindy Fagerlie voting against it.

The board then immediately voted to approve the three-year contract, with Valan, Johnson and Steffes voting against it.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583