The Wadena-Deer Creek School board was informed that the district received no bids for the construction class' house built during the 2018-2019 school year.
The home received attention from potential buyers, but no bids came in for the June 5 deadline.
The unfortunate news during the June 10 meeting brought the board to discuss working with the Wadena Housing and Redevelopment Authority on whether they would be interested in buying the house to place on a lot in Wadena, in an effort to add affordable new housing in Wadena.
School board member and WHRA board member Ryan Damlo brought up the idea at a previous meeting saying that it would be a benefit to the community to keep those homes in Wadena for families to move into.
Whether the plan was feasible for the WHRA or Wadena Development Authority board was not yet clear. Part of the difficulty was that the home needs to be moved from its current spot to make room for the next home to be built. The home will either have to be sold and moved or moved off site temporarily before the start of school.
WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum said the construction class home did not get bids a few years ago, but eventually sold a couple weeks after the bid deadline. This year's three bed and two bath home had a minimum bid amount of $83,500. Westrum was given the ability to negotiate with a buyer on that price, with the need to recoup costs of materials for the project.
In other actions, the board:
• Approved the resignation of elementary teacher Jessica Quam; and Dawn Hamelau as National Honor Society advisor.
• Heard of a non-renewal for teacher Danielle Grieger, who was under probation. Board members had no questions for the recommendation.
• Approved the hire of Krista Coyle as middle school English teacher; Melinda Lahmann-Sharbonda as elementary teacher; Adam Justin as elementary teacher; and Kelsey Schwartz as elementary teacher.
• Heard from ICS Consulting project manager Damien Williams that the elementary school project has moved along speedily. He felt things were ahead of schedule and at this point the budget was also in good shape, while the $250,000 contingency fund had not been touched yet.
"Can't be happier with how it's going," Williams said of the project.
• Approved the 2019-2020 budget. General fund surplus showed an amount of $291,000. With average daily membership of 1,035, about the same as last year, Westrum felt the school might see a bump in funds from an increased kindergarten size.
• Heard from Supt. Westrum talk about hiring an additional special education position as there was concern about the number of caseloads. Westrum said there is some concern about adding a position with the current budget, but he said he would be coming to the board in July with a recommendation on the matter.
• Heard that the school may be adding visual arts to the lineup of Minnesota State High School League events. It would likely be a one-day art event that would serve to show off the student's artwork.
• Approved bringing the student activity funds under board control.
• Heard from Supt. Westrum that there is an all-school reunion planned for next year during the June Jubilee event. Big plans for that gathering are underway.
Following the regular board meeting, which was held at the Deer Creek school, the board toured the school which is currently used by Freshwater Education, Deer Creek Food Shelf and community ed's fitness center. Once Freshwater moves out of the building this summer, what exactly the old school will be used for remains unknown. Supt. Westrum said that he's reaching out to various entities to market the location for future use.