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No-frills name: New Dickinson Middle School to be officially named just that

Dickinson's new middle school has a no-frills name. The school, currently under construction on the northwest side of town, has been named Dickinson Middle School after a period of public input gathering drew to a close at Monday night's Dickinso...

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Vince Reep, assistant superintendent of Dickinson Public Schools, hands out paper ballots to DPS board President Sarah Ricks, DPS Superintendent Doug Sullivan and school board members Leslie Ross and Tanya Rude. The board voted to appoint Brent Seaks to fill its one vacant seat. (Andrew Haffner/The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson’s new middle school has a no-frills name.

The school, currently under construction on the northwest side of town, has been named Dickinson Middle School after a period of public input gathering drew to a close at Monday night’s Dickinson Public Schools board meeting.

Board President Sarah Ricks said the board collected hundreds of name suggestions from a public survey in addition to names suggested directly from DPS staff and the district’s parent advisory committee.

“Finally, after weeks and weeks of sort through and ruling things out, we were left with the list we had today,” Ricks said. “We asked our staff and students what they wanted, and it was an overwhelming result.”

A district vote selected Dickinson Middle School as its favorite, and the board -- which ultimately had the final say -- decided to follow the will of the people.

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DPS Assistant Superintendent Vince Reep presented a construction update for the school earlier in the meeting.

Reep said Zone A of the building, which is largely a classroom wing, is well underway.

“It’s getting pretty exciting that it’s this vertical,” Reep said.

He said construction crews have hung 26 precast panels as of last Friday and will be continually working on additional roof joists and decking. When the product is done, Reep said the precast will have three different colors.

“The project is coming along well,” Reep said. “We’ve had 139 consecutive working days with 173 different employees that have been on-site … and throughout that period we’ve had zero accidents so far.”

Reep said the building will be watertight and sealed by the end of September, allowing interior work to be conducted through the fall and winter months.

The district’s school building bond sale, in which more than $20.1 million in bonds were bid out to fund the construction effort, concluded Monday morning.  

Reep said the low bid the district received came in with an interest rate of 2.48 percent, which he said was “extremely favorable.”

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“Within our debt services estimated spreadsheet, we had a number of 2.89 percent,” he said. “If you do the math, you get savings of over $1.5 million in interest rates that the patrons of Dickinson Public Schools will pay less, because we had a great bond sale.”

DPS board fills seat vacancy

Brent Seaks has been appointed by the board as the new interim school board member.

Seaks was chosen after a few rounds of voting by the sitting members at the Monday meeting from an initial pool of four candidates. He fills the vacancy left by the resignation of former member Jason Hanson until the upcoming school board election this June.

Seaks has two children enrolled at Lincoln Elementary and an older daughter who has graduated from Dickinson High School.

Seaks told the board he had 10 years of business experience in sales and management and 15 years experience as director of Badlands Ministries.

“I’m very excited to serve on the board, it’s a great opportunity,” Seaks said after the meeting. “It’s a short session before I’ll have to be formally elected for this position, but I look forward to doing the best I can for the Dickinson public schools.”

Related Topics: DICKINSONDICKINSON PUBLIC SCHOOLSEDUCATION
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