Yuma-1 project keeps moving along

Yuma School District-1’s $32 million expansion/renovation project continues to come along on schedule and under budget.
Yuma-1 Superintendent Dianna Chrisman and Chad Rayl of the owner’s representative firm Project One provided the board with an update during its regular monthly meeting, Monday night. Board members Dan Ross and Thomas Holtorf attended in-person, while Duane Brown did so virtually. Kim Langley and Lindsey Galles were absent.

As the project progresses, there also is a focus on getting everything ready to go for a busy summer.
The new CTE wing, which also includes the new main administration area and the ag building, is set to be completed for the start of school in September. The art/band wing in the current school also is on that schedule.
A “box walk” (checking to see if all electrical and data boxes are strategically placed) recently was held in the art/band wing recently. That area now is getting framed with drywall being done next.
Another box walk is being held in the new wing this week.
Chrisman said the walk-throughs are very beneficial as it reveals the need to provide the infrastructure not just for now, but for future use.
Meetings also are taking place now to outline the timeframe for the abatement and demolition of the current classroom wings, which is scheduled to be done by January 2022.
“It’s going to be a great-looking school,” Rayl said.
The south parking lot at YHS, and the bus loop at Yuma Middle School/Morris Elementary, will be done during the summer.
Rayl also noted that Neenan Archistruction is loosening its COVID-19 restrictions some, possibly allowing more “team members” and maybe even students, getting tours for a closer look at the project.

More meeting
Monday night was time for the Y-1 Board to approve the health insurance plan for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Chrisman reported the premium is increasing 6.3 percent. The plan currently costs $1.1 million, with the district picking up $870,000, and the employees paying the balance. Continuing with the same split, the district will pay $54,000 more, and employees $14,000 more.
Chrisman provided two options, keeping with that same split, or the district picking up all of the increase.
The board voted 3-0 to continue with the same split.
The superintendent then brought up a proposed LifeLock benefit for employees. She said about 90 Yuma-1 employees have been affected by unemployment fraud over the past year, and some already are paying for LifeLock themselves. The district could offer LifeLock to the staff for the cost of $8.99 per month, or for the cost of $4.49 per month if the district paid for all employees. Chrisman told the board the district’s cost would be $7,500 if it paid for all employees.

Board member Dan Ross suggested the benefit be offered to the employees at their cost, revisit it again next year, and if enough are doing it, the district then could look at covering the cost. He explained it would not be worth it for the district if only a small percentage took advantage of the fraud-prevention benefit.
There was some discussion about all the employees simply would have it if the district paid for it. Chrisman said she would get more clarification and information, and bring it back to the board at the May meeting.
The board approved purchasing a new network server for $30,000, plus installation ranging from $3,000 to $3,500. Chrisman said the new COVID funds would be used for the purchase. HVAC system upgrades, at The Pit at YHS and a part of Morris Elementary, also will be paid for with the COVID funds after the current school project is completed.