Board approves $5.7 million bond
By Barbie Porter
The Frazee-Vergas School District started the school year with 858 students.
The elementary, which houses grades K-6, posted an opening day enrollment of 445 students. The high school, which teaches grades 7-12, had 413 students.
During the monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 13, the board reviewed the enrollment numbers and class sizes for each grade. At the elementary level the fifth and sixth graders have the most students, each with 69. The grade with the least students enrolled was first with 58.
At the elementary, data reported to the board showed only the current year. However, at the high school the data included enrollment numbers in Sept. 2020 of 428 students, in May 2021 it was down to 409 and for Sept. 2021, it was at 413 pupils.
At the high school, the grade with the most students were the sophomores with 81 students. The grade with the smallest number of students were the juniors, 62.
Pre-school numbers were also reported to the board, with 32 enrolled.
Frazee Superintendent Terry Karger said the enrollment is continuing to decline and suspects the projected end of the year enrollment will be about 840 students.
Bond for school
The board approved a $5.7 million general obligation facilities and maintenance tax abatement bond. The funds will allow the district to renovate the parking lot at the elementary and create a new parking lots at the high school and early childhood family education.
At the high school a new parking lot will be added for students and events off North River Drive that will allow for 100 parking spots. Behind the high school the parking lot will be reconfigured to have a parent drop off loop as well as a bus drop off section. Staff parking will also be available along Second Street NW.
The elementary parking lot will utilize green space in front of the building. There will be a new parent drop off lane near the main entrance as well as parking inside of the drop off loop. A bus loading zone will allow buses to no longer be stacked along Hickory Avenue. The loading zone will be in the current parking area, where staff parking will still be utilized.
The ECFE wing will have its own parking spots and pick-up and drop off area.
Another piece of the project will include removing the current track and football field complex and constructing a new one, near where the current one is located. The bond also includes improved ventilation systems at the high school and learning spaces at the elementary.
The project bids were collected last week, and the board was told they received four bond bids with Baird of Milwaukee, Wisc. providing the lowest bid with a “sub 1 percent interest rate.”
The board was told that equates to $165,000 less overall in the point of principal of the cost of the bond over its life.
Board member resigns
Matt Bauer resigned from his position as board member. He would’ve concluded his third term on the board this November, bringing about 11 years of service.
“When I started I had a full head of hair,” he joked.
Fellow board member Thaddeus Helmers recalled when he joined the board he looked to Bauer for mentorship, and appreciated the experience he brought to the table as well, as how transparent Buaer was when it came to making decisions that were best for students and the school.
“We will miss you a lot and hope you find what you’re chasing,” Helmers said.
“I’ll let you know when the championship comes,” Bauer replied.
Bauer resigned from the board and as head softball coaching of the Hornet varsity team as he accepted a head coach position with a college in Missouri. He was gifted the task of building the program from the ground up for Moberly Area Community College, a Division II school.
Bauer said the transition has been tough, as working beside many talented leaders in the district has been a “labor of love.”
“I’ve been very blessed,” he said.