The Montevideo School Board met in regular session on Feb. 11, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the district board room. The big topic of the night was the discussion of future school facilities.

The Montevideo School Board met in regular session on Feb. 11, 2019 at 6 p.m. in the district board room. The big topic of the night was the discussion of future school facilities.

Mike Hubbard of ICS Consultants was present to discuss facility options for the school district.

In the initial presentation and in later discussions, ICS brought up the idea of doing a phone survey to help determine the level of support for a facility project. Hubbard opened a conference call with a representative from the firm Morris Leatherman to explain the process and answer any potential questions.

According to the representative, the poll is typically done by appointments.

“It’s a telephone survey. We use landline phone numbers and then purchased cell phone lists of numbers with billing centers in the district and we do a mix. Most of the time people let their phones go to voicemail nowadays, so we’ll leave a voicemail if unanswered,” said Leatherman. “We do not come up as a private or blocked number.”

There are about 70 to 80 questions in the survey, and it typically takes about 15 to 16 minutes to complete.

“Some people will get it done in ten minutes and some people will want to talk and it could be an hour,” he continued.

After the call, Hubbard continued his presentation. He updated the board on the progress of the survey results and reviewed figures and costs of new schools, updates, and additions.

The current estimated budget for potential costs associated with the facility planning are as follows:

Sanford Education Center $9,482,207.

Ramsey Elementary renovations and additions $34,482,962; replacement $39,039,129.

Middle School refresh $9,341,369.

MHS refresh $22,954,859; renovating A-wing and additions $29,220,370; replacement of A-wing $44,224,026.

1,200-seat Fine Arts Center $10,334,959.

Sports, wellness & fields $3,283,125.

In other business, Scott Ripley gave a presentation of technology to the board. Ripley’s presentation began with a demonstration of the new interactive technology in the boardroom. The technology is similar to a smart board, but considerably more versatile. The device uses bluetooth connectivity, clearing up wire clutter and making it able to connect to remote devices such as chromebooks, laptops and cellphones.

“This display also happens to be compatible with more than one person touching it, unlike smart boards,” said Ripley. “It’s kind of like a big screen T.V. with a computer built into it. At the high school we have a lot of small groups of kids taking classes remotely. Three or four kids would be able to take classes remotely on this rather than going to the ITV room, which is a big classroom designed for 40 kids.”

The technology also featured a whiteboard option, as well as an interactive web browser.

“You can annotate on web pages or whatever content you’re using,” Ripley explained. “For example, as a previous geography teacher I’d pull up a map of something in the world since textbooks are out of date, put up a current map of whatever it is you’re talking about, and now you can annotate on it, right on top of the web page. It’s a really cool piece of technology. These are becoming widely adopted in business, but are showing more potential when it comes to education.”

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