Asa Wood building eludes ruin
| January 21, 2011 12:52 PM
Gathering within the dry confines of
the Little Theatre on Monday night, the Libby School Board
discussed the usual topics found at such meetings along with
specific issues of the day.
But it was hard not to think about what
had happened only hours earlier when high water tried to find its
way into the district’s Asa Wood building, which houses grades
Although officials can now breathe a
sigh of relief, the building actually came very close to never
“Another 15 minutes one way or the
other and you’ve got 6-8 inches of water and it could be over,”
Libby Schools Superintendent Kirby Maki said. “It gets in
crawlspaces … you get mold and there would be all kinds of cleanup.
We wouldn’t be having school for a while.”
Water can have devastating effects on
buildings, especially on an aging structure like Asa Wood. The
district’s inevitable closure of the building could’ve occurred
this week if Flower Creek’s overflow made it past manmade
Maki expressed gratitude for the effort
it took to save the building. School staff members, including
principal Scott Beagle, worked hard to keep the educational
institution dry. Ron Goodman, principal at Libby Middle School,
arrived on site with sandbags. Volunteers gouged ice and snow to
divert water onto the street or to the playground.
“What a community effort that was to
prevent damage to the elementary school,” Maki said. “The kids were
in school today like it never happened.”
As far as the meeting itself, various
agenda items were discussed, including an update on the bond
election and public perception. The district has been busy getting
information to voters with appearances at sporting events, chamber
of commerce and Rotary Club.
Among new business items, the district
will no longer offer retirement incentives. Maki said they hadn’t
been offered for some time but it was revisited as part of a union
The board approved an election
resolution for Feb. 21, which involves two seats up for re-election
and possible action if the bond request does not pass. Terms
currently held by Tony Rebo and Paula Darko-Hensler will be up for
election on May 3.
The board also had its first discussion
of the 2011-12 school calendar. Few specific dates are included in
the preliminary look. Union groups will make their recommendations
in the process that leads to an eventual vote.
During the superintendent’s report,
Maki presented enrollment figures that showed 1,200 students in the
district. Enrollment numbers include 413 students at Libby High
School, 429 at Libby Middle School (grades 4-8), 340 at Asa Wood
(grades K-3) and 18 at Plummer (preschool).
Enrollment numbers have dropped each
month since classes began in September – down from 1,223.
Elementary and middle-school numbers are higher than last year but
high school enrollment has fallen by 49 students since January