FISHER — The Fisher school board approved paying Adkisson Construction, Tuscola, $649,000 for health life safety work.

The work includes replacing the two chillers at the grade school and completely remodeling the high school science lab with updated cabinets, floors, sinks and safety equipment. Flooring will be replaced in several classrooms in the junior/senior high while asbestos flooring will be removed. New interior doors will be installed in that building to replace the original doors and to match the doors installed in the newer junior high addition.

The district could have cut $120,000 from that amount by not replacing the second, less-used chiller in the 16-year-old grade school. Architect John Bishop said that chiller could last six or seven more years as it had been used only in peak times. But Bishop said it would be running on obsolete refrigerant and once the new chiller is installed, will be used more often to balance use between both chillers. He said the current project will open up everything, making installation of the second chiller easier than it would be in a later, and perhaps more-expensive project.

The board discussed the pros and cons and decided to go ahead with the project as bid. A total of $16,000 could also be saved by not replacing the science lab cabinets, but the board decided it wanted the new cabinets.

RICE RECOGNIZED

Superintendent Barb Thompson recognized outgoing board member Mike Rice for his 16 years of “dedicated service” to the district. She noted he is the last one remaining of the board in place when she began her job 14 years ago. Thompson thanked Rice and reminded how she “often brags about this board.”

GYM FLOOR PAINTING

The board committed $12,000 to the estimated cost of $22,000 to repaint the high school gym floor.

Assistant principal/athletic director Jake Palmer addressed the board and noted that annual refinishing of the floor costs $5,000. Palmer said he can put $5,000 of discretionary athletic director funds toward the project and the booster club would most likely match that.

All basketball and volleyball markings will be painted, as well as those needed to play badminton and pickle ball during physical education classes.

And Palmer said a 26-by-19-foot bunny will be painted as in the middle. Palmer said new lighting in the gym illuminated the dated markings of the floor.

“This will be the cherry on top,” he said. “This impacts lots of kids.”

The floor was last painted in 1996. It will be painted by Veterans Floors Inc. of Rockford, which does the refinishing for Fisher. Palmer told the board the company is busy in the summer and so it was important to schedule a date as soon as possible.

THREE GRADE SECTIONS

Grade school Principal Jim Moxley told the board at least two of the seven grade levels there will have three sections instead of two next year as has been the practice in recent years. He’s analyzing numbers in two other grade levels as well.

Moxley said 60 students are participating in track this spring, and he wanted to thank all the parent volunteers who help run the track meets.

“You absolutely can’t run a track meet without a lot of help,” Moxley said.

Junior/senior high Principal Jon Kelly said teachers will have participated in an ALICE drill — Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate — on April 18, during an in-service afternoon. He also congratulated Fisher’s Lucas Chittick on his running of the Boston Marathon.

Kelly announced the academic awards event at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28; ninth-grade orientation at 6:30 p.m. May 6; at 6:30; seventh-grade orientation at 6:30 p.m.  May 16; high school graduation at 2 p.m. May 19; and junior high promotion at 6 p.m. May 28.

Kelly said local resident Shanna Hortin has been hired as the facilitator for theCEO program that begins next school year.

Fisher High School, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School and Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School will participate. A total of eight students will be selected. Kelly said he is working on scheduling but the final selection of students is not complete.

REORGANIZATION MEETING

The board set its reorganization for a special meeting at 6:15 p.m. April 22.

Also on the agenda that night is a resolution for the board to consider concerning solar power.

Late last year the board voted to participate in a “behind-the-meter” solar project that would not cost the district anything. But the project was not selected in the recent state solar lottery.

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