The completion of the addition at Career Pathways Institute on time is “a big question mark,” and Grand Island Public Schools Director of Building and Grounds Dan Petsch said it may be time for the district to look at a plan B. If students are unable to move into the building on the first day of school Aug. 15, GIPS needs to be ready.
During his monthly construction update at the GIPS Board of Education meeting, Petsch told the board he has never been in a situation where construction was not completed enough to get students into the building on time. The construction of the CPI addition might be an exception.
The addition at CPI will allow for additional academies at the building beginning this fall.
“We are working with the general contractor to try to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Petsch said. “But I will tell you we are going to establish what plan B is going to look like so that when we get to that point where we cannot move in there and have in kids in there on Aug. 15 for the first day of school, we may to look at using a couple alternate locations for a couple weeks.”
Despite the potential delay, Petsch said he is confident that the project will be able to get done on time.
“I am going to do the best with my team, the contractors and our designers to be successful in utilizing the area,” he said. “If we don’t, our kids are still going to get a good education on the front part of this year. They just might not be in that classroom they are going to be using for a couple weeks time.”
Board member Terry Brown asked how many kids would be impacted if plan B would need to be implemented. Petsch, in conferring with Director of Innovation for College and Career Readiness Dan Phillips, said around 150 kids would be affected by this. Petsch said the district has “several option areas” it could look at to temporarily house classrooms.
“The big thing is we want to make sure that plan B is thought out well enough so that we do not impact student learning. That is key right there,” he said. “Just because students spend their first couple weeks in a different classroom, we want to make sure that class is an area where they do not feel pushed.”
Since Petsch gave only a construction update, no decision was made by the board on implementing a plan B.
Also Tuesday, the board heard from Phillips about a proposal to have Project Lead the Way as the curriculum provider for the engineering pathway within the Academy of Engineering and Technology.
“The two courses that these materials will be used in are the introduction to engineering design, and principles of engineering,” Phillips said. “The sophomore class in both the alternative energy and engineering pathways will utilize the introduction to engineering design course. Next year, we have 35 sophomores legislated to do that.”
The total cost for the proposed curriculum is $85,902, which will come from the leading for learning general fund.
According to a needs analysis provided in the meeting agenda, start-up instructional materials and consumable materials will be needed to teach the curriculum to students. The cost of the start-up durable materials are $76,970, while the consumable materials are $8,932. Both would be budgeted yearly for the sustainability of the program.
“About 88% of this purchase is all durable goods, meaning it will be used over and over with just over 11% being consumables, which makes it a lot more sustainable as we move on,” Phillips said.
The item is expected to be on the board agenda for approval as an action item at the August board meeting.
For the record
In other action, the GIPS board:
— Recognized former board member Roger Harms for his service to the board.
— Heard a report from GIPS Marketing and Communications Coordinator Jack Sheard on the results of the district’s perceptions and communication survey.
— Voted 8-0 to approve Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) training for teachers.