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Board moves ahead on Asa Wood decision; enrollment dips

by Sandra Faye Douthit - Reporter
| November 29, 2011 1:10 PM

School decision likely will come early in the year

The Libby School Board met Nov. 21 to review the survey results for future plans of the Asa Wood property, the decision might be delayed until after the first of the year.

Superintendent K.W. Maki urged the board to reconsider making a decision about the property at the meeting in December. Maki is concerned the building will need the assistance of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean vermiculite from sections of the building.

“If we (board) want to demolish parts of the building, we need to get on a list with EPA soon,” Maki said.

What the board will decide for the property remains unknown at this time. However, more than 200 individuals responded to the online survey, the survey results revealed:

• When asked if the property had ever been used by persons polled for extra-curricular activities — gym, sports practice, playground equipment and meetings — 82.9 percent said yes;

• When asked if the district should enter into a long-term lease with a commercial organization for the property — 61.5 percent said no;

• When asked if the property should be sold — 64.6 percent said no;

• When asked if the district should demolish the entire building — 75.5 percent said no;

• When asked if the district, with the assistance of EPA, demolish portions of the building containing vermiculite — 77 percent said yes,

• When asked if the district should develop the property as a school/community center — 68.1 percent said yes.

The survey also questioned persons about the level of importance for an improved walk path, meeting room availabilities, gym usage, green spaces (playground and picnic areas), a swimming pool and a fishpond.

In the superintendent’s report, enrollment numbers for the month of November have decreased by 11 students since the beginning of the school year. Numbers are factored by grades pre-kindergarten to senior high.

The high school class enrollments are the lowest the district has seen in more than 10 years. Nevertheless, Maki suggested a silver lining in the long-term future of the district. Stressing the numbers for high-school enrollment will increase in the future if the numbers remain consistent in the enrollment numbers for elementary and middle school classes.

“The numbers of high-school students is down and we get more money for high-school students,” Maki said. “But, the number of elementary students is up.”

Action items included the approval for policy No. 3612 after the third and final reading for the acceptable usage for electronic information, services and networks. Policy No. 5460 included the approval for the district to utilize electronic resources and social networking. Last, 403(b) Third Party Plan Administrator for the Great Governmental Accounting Standards Board Group (GGG) was approved. 

The board approved a personnel contract, for the 2011-‘12 school year, to hire math tutor Deanna Malyevac three hours a day, four days per week.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 19.