The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Office space contentious point for school board


Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe

A DROP-OFF bus lane sits nearly complete outside Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood on Monday evening. The drop-off lane is being installed by Ruotsala Concrete Construction.

IRONWOOD - The location of offices inside Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood were a focal point of discussion that split the board during an Ironwood Area Schools Board of Education meeting Monday evening.

According to board member Leroy Johnson, he had some safety concerns regarding the location of one of the elementary offices on the first floor. With LLW becoming a K-12 building officially this upcoming school year, an early initial plan was to have the middle-high school office move up from the second to the third floor, have the third through sixth grade office move from the first to second floor and have the kindergarten through second grade office move into the first floor.

However, it was since decided to have the two elementary offices share the office space on the second floor, eliminating the office on the first floor.

A motion was made by Johnson to follow the original plan of offices on all three floors, and it was seconded by board member Brenda Agee.

After discussing the matter, the board voted 4-3 against the motion, and decided to continue with the new plan. Johnson, Agee and Rickard voted in favor of the motion, while Steve Thomas, Marilyn Nezworski, Pamela Niemi and John Lorenson voted against it.

Johnson said he was favor of an office on the first floor, allowing parents, who enter from the Pabst Street entrance, to be greeted immediately. Johnson said he was also not in favor of the decision to change not being brought in front of the board for approval.

Superintendent Tim Kolesar said his plan is to only have one entrance open during the day, which would be the main entrance, helping withsecurity issues.

Some board members said the original plan was "all tentative," and the transition from two school buildings into one was going to be a "trial and error" process.

Agee said she has received calls from "frustrated" parents who were not in favor of the plan changing.

"In my opinion, we have to try this," Nezworski said. "We are not going to please every parent. We never have, and we never will, but we have to try this out to see if it will work."

For Johnson, having the vote was okay.

"One of my concerns was that the decision didn't come before the board," he said. "That is why I made the motion so it would now become a board decision. That is what I wanted."

Building and grounds

Kolesar presented a bid from EGI Mechanical Inc., of Mellen, Wis., to work on two "critical" infrastructure issues within LLW.

The board approved EGI's cost of $10,327 to re-gasket an 8-inch elbow pipe and do revisions to piping in the boiler room.

The board was also updated on the bus drop-off being built outside LLW. Ruotsala Concrete Construction is nearing completion of the project.

"The completion of this project is a huge step forward in our transition to one building," Kolesar said. "It will make coming to school and returning back home each day a much safer process."

Band donation

Band instructor Steve Boyd was presented with a $1,000 check after a member of the class of 1964 toured the band room during a recent class reunion.

According to Kolesar, David and Barbara Hagstrom were "very impressed" with the music room, and presented the donation in honor of their niece Barbara J. Stewart.

"David is very proud of the tradition of having a strong music department which includes pep bands and marching bands in Ironwood," Kolesar said.


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