The Nodaway-Holt School Board listened to a presentation about building designs during its regular meeting on February 21.

Jeff Ellison and Jeremy Proctor, Ellison-Auxier Architects, Inc., St. Joseph, presented the board with four different design layouts for the proposed addition to the school. The designs ranged from 11,400 square feet to 13,300 square feet. 

Board members held a discussion about the location of the superintendent’s office. Some members said it would be better to have the administration office away from the principal’s office in case of a tragic event; the administration would not be all together. Others thought putting the superintendent’s office next to the current principal’s office would allow better visuals of visitors approaching the building.

Another concern was that the new addition would require students to walk outside to reach the ag shop. It had been a major priority to enclose that walkway, and the board is reluctant to re-open it. Options discussed included a covered breezeway and other ideas to keep the space semi-enclosed for safety. By enclosing the walkway, it would stop traffic from being able to drive all the way around the building. Other items included where to unload trash and where to put door entrances. The architects listened to board member feedback and will submit additional designs for consideration.

Ryan Carter won the farm bid at $255 per acre for approximately 65 acres. The school’s FFA will pay $255 per acre for approximately 10 acres to utilize for learning purposes.

Seniors Derick Thorton and Kaitlynn Grasty presented the board with the senior trip itinerary to Kansas City. The trip includes staying at the Great Wolf Lodge, indoor sky diving and other activities. The board approved the trip as presented.

Elementary Principal Rita Carroll informed the board that all but four elementary students had parents present at the parent-teacher conferences.

High School Principal Shawn Emerson reported that 58 percent of parents were in attendance for parent-teacher conferences.

Superintendent Jeff Blackford discussed state legislation issues. He reported there will be open forum nights throughout the district to answer community member questions about the upcoming ballot question and school addition project. Locations will include Graham, Maitland, Skidmore, the Tri-City Friendship Center in Maitland and the Lions Club meeting. The school’s graphic design class will be creating informational brochures to be passed out at the forums.

The board approved the 2018-19 calendar as well as policy updates to stay compliant, including a policy on suicide awareness prevention.

The Career Technical Education program evaluation was approved.

The school safety plan was approved. Things noted included working on organization, cleanliness, unlabeled bottles and emergency and crisis plans.

Resignations were accepted for Rita Carrol, elementary principal, and Stacey Calfee, junior high math, both of whom are retiring at the end of the school year. A resignation was also accepted for Rebekah Kuhfal, high school math.

In closed session, the board approved a two-year extension of Emerson’s contract. He will be moving to the position of elementary principal in the upcoming school year.

Michael Hollingsworth was approved for hire as the junior high and high school principal for the upcoming school year.

The school board will be touring the high school and eating lunch with the students on March 21. The board meeting will follow lunch at 1 pm.