SL School Bd Hears Update On COVID; Decides To Seek Bids On Former Admin. Building Site

Tue 10-13-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- The Spirit Lake School Board heard an update on COVID-19 matters at their monthly meeting Monday evening. Superintendent Dr. David Smith says the numbers remain very low among students and staff...Dr. Smith01 (2) 

"Currently we have one active student case. We have zero active staff. Active quarantines, we have 11 students and through contact tracing we have not found any of those to be through the school. It's been household contact, so it appears that what we're doing seems to be working with our social distancing and spacing everyone out and masking when you can't social distance. So we're very pleased with that and when you consider the fact that we have 1,300 students and another 200 employees all here on our campus and we only have one active case and 11 quarantined, to me that's amazing. Like I told you before we're not out of the woods yet and we'll make changes and try to make our system better as we move forward."

Dr. Smith says they're grateful to the students for their cooperation on mask wearing and social distancing...Dr. Smith02 (2) 

"They've been so respectful of what we have asked them to do. And I think the driving factor is students want to be in the classroom, they don't like being quarantined, they don't want to be at home, they don't like the stories they hear from friends. So I think people are really just trying hard. They enjoy being in school, they enjoy being around their peers and teachers and being a part of the activities, etcetera. So I think people are really intentional in trying to get it right while they're at school."

In other business, the Spirit Lake School Board decided Monday evening to put the site where the former administration building and auditorium are located up for sale...Dr. Smith03 (2) 

"We know it's not a high value building but there's still value in it and there's a lot of different people that have approached us in the past, so we just decided to put it up for bid and see what happens. We have a $50,000 minimum on it. Bids are due at 5:30 November 9th. The board will open up sealed bids, so we'll see what happens there if there's any interest in it or not. But again there might be one person out there who has a specific thought in mind of what they could do with that property and we'll see what happens."

The Spirit Lake School Board also Monday decided to push back construction of a bus barn after bids came in higher than expected. Dr. Smith says they'll re-design the project and re-bid it, likely in December or January...Dr. Smith04 (1) 

"Hopefully we'll have a better understanding of where our budget is at with the elementary/middle school project and right now we're on budget and we're on time. There's about 56 days left to completion of that project and if we're sitting in really good shape there that will help us have clarity on what we can do with the bus barn. You know we don't want to spend money that we don't have so we want to know exactly what's in front of us and make good decisions that way."

He says the goal if things work out would be to have the project ready for construction in the spring.