Schools Fight Heat, Prepare For Construction
Students and teachers alike suffered in the heat during the first two weeks of school, according to reports by the principals at the regular meeting of the Glasgow School Board on Sept. 11. The temperature in a high school hallway was 100 degrees one afternoon. With fans and lots of attention to hydration (at Irle School they got Popsicles), everyone carried on and they expect true fall weather soon.
Superintendent Bob Connors said air conditioning is not normally used in Montana schools. It is an expensive item, and usually only needed during a three-week window on each side of the year. New schools are designed ecologically, with improvements to handle the air, to purge the building of hot air during the night and start the day cooler.
East Side Principal Mike Zoanni said parents, students and staff are doing a good job adjusting to the new traffic flow in drop-off and parking. East Side is the first school to be affected by the major renovation and building projects this year. Ground breaking for the new construction at East Side is Monday, Sept. 23, at noon.
Maps of the East Side project have been placed in the four local banks, in each school, at the hospital and in the Cottonwood.
Shane Swandal of Hulteng CCM, the owner’s rep for the school district in the construction project, said Sletten Construction wants to start Oct. 1.
Trustee David Irving said the board needs a meeting with the negotiating team about the design contract Hulteng submitted.
“I am not happy with it,” Irving said. “It is not designed for the owners. Certain protections are needed.”
He said it would probably take two phone calls to wrap it up, just to “amend, tweak and add a couple of sentences.”
Connors said they need a special board meeting next week to approve a final contract, which hasn’t been presented to the board yet.
The board accepted the programming plan for the New Irle School from the design team of L’Heureux Page Werner. The layout is for 60,000 square feet, to accommodate 432 students. The plan can still be modified. The base cost is $140 per square foot.
High school activities director Willie Thibault said the football squad is down to 41 from injuries and players who decided not to continue. Cross country has 27 runners; volleyball has 31 players.
He said that with the help of Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, 214 students have been given concussion tests to gather baseline information to help prevent brain injuries.
“This is really positive for the safety of our student athletes,” Thibault said.
Random drug testing will begin next week, he said.
Glasgow High School Principal Shawnda Zahara-Harris, just a few weeks into her new job, said the school secretaries are doing a great job coping with 23 new students (and eight more waiting to be processed).
University of Montana President Royce Engstrom will visit Glasgow on Thursday, Sept. 26. Zahara-Harris said he will hold an open forum in the GHS library at 3:30 p.m.
The student representative, Josie Braaten, in her first report, said the high school has a different theme each day of Homecoming Week and the Key Club is working on the Homecoming Dance after Wednesday’s bonfire.
Connors said the cheerleader room has been remodeled for a special needs student. It has a back entrance and bathroom and minimizes stimulation.
The high school will dispose of three high jump pits that have already been replaced. Hinsdale wants one and Nashua wants the other two.
Enrollment at the beginning of this year, 823, is higher than last year’s 817, Connors said.
The next regular meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 9, in the East Side School library.