Dickinson Public Schools Unapproved Special School Board Meeting Minutes Thursday, October 29, 2020; 5:00 p.
Dickinson Public Schools
Unapproved Special School Board Meeting Minutes
Thursday, October 29, 2020; 5:00 p.m.
Professional Learning Lab
A complete recording of the October 29, 2020, Special School Board Meeting is available on the Dickinson Public Schools website utilizing the BoardDocs link.
The Dickinson Public School Board held a Special Board Meeting on October 29, 2020, in the Professional Learning Lab. Board members present were: President Brent Seaks, Mr. Jason Rodakowski, Mrs. Michelle Orton, and Mr. David Wilkie. Board Member Kim Schwartz was not present. Others present were: Superintendent Shon Hocker, Assistant Superintendent Keith Harris, Harlow's School Bus Transportation Manager Burton Lewton, Dickinson Middle School Principal Marcus Lewton, Senator Rich Wardner, Representative Mike Lefor, and School Board Secretary Twila Petersen.
Call to Order - Board President Seaks called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
Public Participation - There were no requests for public participation.
Business Topics - Discussion Topics
Halliburton Property - Local Legislators Senator Rich Wardner and Representative Mike Lefor addressed the school board.
Senator Wardner explained funding from the state for a career and technology facility in Dickinson is through a gap bonding bill. It would be bonded through the state of North Dakota. The bonding bill is a part of an infrastructure bill. He added there is a dedicated funding stream through the Legacy earnings. Currently, servicing the bond would be less than 2%. There is a required one-to-one match with funding up to $15 million.
Representative Lefor added the legislative team feels the CTE Center is important for the next legislative session. There has been over a year of work and dedication put into the program from the task force. The benefits of the CTE Center will be for many generations.
He commended the DPS administration, the members of the task force, and the collaborative work with Dickinson Catholic Schools and Dickinson State University adding this is a community and region project.
There have been meetings with the legislative team and state and political subdivisions, Dickinson City Commissioners, and Stark County Commissioners. Representative Lefor said the initial feedback has been enormously positive.
Dickinson State University has been working on a dual mission polytechnic. The dual mission would benefit from the CTE Center. Representative Lefor and Senator Wardner assured the Board they would continue to do everything they could to make the program successful as CTE education is key for this area.
Superintendent Hocker addressed the Board. He shared his appreciation for Senator Wardner and Representative Lefor attending the meeting and presenting a picture of the partnership to make the CTE Center a success.
Dr. Hocker said preliminary cost estimates to repurpose the building were approximately $8 million. He added he was confident the expenses to pay for the remodel would come from local and state resources. The Board has already submitted its resolution that could go to a bond. The District could bond a portion of the building fund levy.
Superintendent Hocker added removing the CTE from the existing high school could reduce the initial bond of at least $20 million. This would be an opportunity to downsize the high school referendum. The District could maybe look at funding a new high school building that could serve 1,200 students instead of 1,600 students because of the Halliburton campus. This would be a benefit to the community, the taxpayers, and the students.
President Seaks addressed the safety and environmental concerns with the property. Assistant Superintendent Harris responded and shared the results of research and reports that have all come back negative or favorable for the Halliburton buildings.
Mrs. Orton inquired if Senator Wardner and Representative Lefor were members of the task force and would continue to serve on the task force. Both of them responded they are members and would continue to serve until completion. Senator Wardner shared the advantages the CTE Center would have to the workforce, the DSU partnership, the Trinity Catholic Schools partnership, and saving taxpayer dollars. He has received only positive comments when visiting with individuals regarding the CTE Center.
President Seaks inquired regarding the costs for utilities and to maintain the property. Assistant Superintendent Harris provided some estimates for costs the school district would absorb.
Board members thanked Senator Wardner and Representative Lefor for attending the meeting. They also thanked them for their collaboration, work, and passion for the CTE Center.
This agenda item was informational only. No action was requested.
Business Topics - Action Items
Halliburton Property - Mr. Rodakowski moved to proceed with the purchase of the Halliburton property. Mrs. Orton seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the motion: ayes-3 (Orton, Rodakowski, Seaks); no-1 (Wilkie); absent-1 (Schwartz). The motion carried.
Business Manager Contract Negotiations (Executive Session Anticipated) - As per North Dakota Century Code NDCC § 44-04-19.1, subsection 9; Mr. Rodakowski moved to close the meeting and go into executive session for the purpose of Discussion of Contract Negotiations. Mr. Wilkie seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the motion: ayes-4 (Orton, Rodakowski, Wilkie, Seaks); nays-0; absent-1 (Schwartz). The motion carried.
The executive session was recorded and all members of the governing body were reminded to limit their discussion during the executive session to the announced topic. Any collective decision, collective commitment, or other final action by the governing body must occur after it reconvenes in an open meeting unless final action is specifically required by law to be taken during the executive session.
President Seaks stated Board policy BCAD-Executive Session allows certain individuals to be in attendance at the closed meeting and those individuals are the Governing Board members and those individuals deemed necessary to be in attendance as directed by the Board President. He requested the following be in attendance during the executive session: School Board Members Mr. Jason Rodakowski, Mrs. Michelle Orton, Mr. David Wilkie, and Chair Brent Seaks. He also requested Superintendent Shon Hocker to be present.
The meeting convened in executive session. President Seaks stated he anticipated adjourning the executive session and reconvening the open portion of the meeting at approximately 6:10 p.m. The executive session began at 5:40 p.m. and was attended by Mrs. Orton, Mr. Wilkie, Mr. Rodakowski, Chair Seaks, and Superintendent Hocker.
The executive session was adjourned at 5:59 p.m. President Seaks invited the public to return to the meeting room and the meeting was back in open session. President Seaks stated the discussion of the executive session was discussing contract negotiations and that no other topics were discussed.
Extend an Offer for Business Manager Position, if Necessary - Mr. Rodakwoski moved to extend an offer to Stephanie Hunter to be the next Business Manager for Dickinson Public Schools. He further authorized Superintendent Shon Hocker and Board President Brent Seaks to negotiate the terms of the contract. Mrs. Orton seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken on the motion: ayes-4 (Rodakowski, Wilkie, Orton, Seaks); nays-0; absent-1 (Schwartz). The motion carried.
Adjournment - At 6:00 p.m., President Seaks declared the meeting adjourned.
Brent Seaks, Board President
Twila Petersen, Secretary
(Nov. 11, 2020) 2866225