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District 818 board looks at addition, health insurance committee

The District 818 school board looked at the progress of the building addition project and discussed a proposed health insurance committee Monday evening at their May meeting.

Both issues were sitting squarely before the board as they held their final meeting of the 2013-2014 school year. School graduation exercises will be held May 30.

With construction work on the 29,700-square foot addition several weeks behind schedule, a meeting on the project was recently held with R.A. Morton representatives.

Board member Bill Blaha recommended that R.A. Morton president Preston Euerle be brought into the dialogue board members and school administrators are maintaining with project manager Joe Cecko.

“I think if we get to a feet held to the fire moment I think we want Preston in that meeting,” Blaha said.

The board been assured by R.A. Morton that the addition will be ready by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year in September.

Blaha believes Euerle is the man to go to with any future project concerns.

“I couldn’t care less what the daily work looks like as long as long as they meet quality standards, cost standards and get it done on time. I really don’t care what the rest of it plays out like. In the end he has to deliver on that date,” Blaha said.

Verndale Superintendent Paul Brownlow told the board he has heard rumblings in the community that the project is over budget.

“I am not sure where that is coming from because we left that meeting making sure nothing was over budget,” Brownlow said.

“Everything we are expecting we are still going to get.”

Brownlow told the board the school’s benefits attorney contacted him last week and the school’s future health care plan, mandated by the Affordable Care Act, will be a hybrid plan which Brownlow was told “does not completely eliminate risk.”

Health care has been a major factor in negotiations with school employees.

“We might look at actually putting together a health insurance committee where we include support staff, teaching staff to help us make some decisions there,” Brownlow said.

Board member Scott Veronen endorsed the idea of the committee.

“We just completed a similar process at Freshwater and it’s a wonderful process because then everyone is in it from the get-go and everyone understands the process and the choices,” Veronen said.