By Chris Johnson


WINNEBAGO – From time to time, money has to be spent in larger order and the Winnebago School Board is investigating which path it must take. The reality is the School District needs a new place to call home. Money is needed for investment in the future education system, as the plan for growth continues to express itself.

Speaking with Board Secretary Todd France, it was discovered the Board is aware that a lot of money will be needed, as it continues to determine the best plan to get a new school structure developed.

Where the new facility will be constructed is not as much of a concern, as the School Board has the space to work with.

Ideas were presented and answers were sought, during a Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, July 27, at McNair School.

Reportedly, a price tag for construction, nearly $38,000,000, has been presented.

Trustees with the Winnebago School Board have been keeping it in the forefront, as the time to take action comes closer.

The issue of need has been presented during months of meetings. On Monday, June 20, it was on the agenda, as a public hearing was held.

The School District presented its spending plan for the fiscal year, as the budget was available for inspection.

By rule, the notice of the public hearing was placed in the Gazette Newspaper, thus allowing the resident taxpayers the opportunity to hear how funds would be spent and at the same time allowing for possible influence.

The fiscal budget has been on display and available for public viewing, since May 17.

The public hearing ended as the Board of Trustees entered into the regular monthly meeting.

Outside of discussion on the need for a new physical plant, preparation for the upcoming school year was also presented during the Monday regular session.

Plans are being put into place, to facilitate the easy transition from the summer season to school-in-session.

Making sure the right people are in the right place was primary, in importance.

The Board approved the Superintendent contract for fiscal year 2017 for Scott Bloomquist.

Approval was also given to proceed with the upcoming school year’s fundraising events for the athletic department.

Additional action was taken to approve the Prevailing Wage Resolution.

Each year since the end of the Civil War, according to online resources, governmental agencies have been required to approve a resolution which will pay benefits, wages and overtime to the highest percentage of mechanics, laborers and other workers, within a specific field or area of expertise.

The Board was also empowered to assure that the best rates for fuel usage for the upcoming school year have been investigated.

The Board Meeting schedule for the 2016-2017 school season was approved.

On occasion equipment which has outlived its usefulness, or has become too cost straining to maintain, must be freed from ownership. Action by the Board allows for the disposal of equipment, such as tables, machines and tools, to be released to the highest bidder.

Under the Superintendent’s section of the Monday night meeting agenda, information on how the State of Illinois was proceeding, in assuring funding will be available for school districts was also listed for discussion.

Bloomquist also gave the Board an update on the dual credit program for Winnebago students.

Action will continue over the next month as the Winnebago School Board considers what it will do in the realm of assuring all qualified employees have access to mandated health insurance.

The Board was asked to consider Prairie State Insurance Cooperative for property liability. It was subsequently asked to consider a Health Insurance Cooperative.

The need to replace a computer workstation was requested, with the Board also receiving information on the District Visioning.

The Board also determined that the time is right for research into the fiscal year 2017 joint food bill in an attempt to save money by purchasing as part of a cooperative, rather than going in alone.

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