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Board to move ahead with high school study

Sale of Blairsburg rental house also considered

Daily Freeman-Journal file photo The Webster City school board will move ahead with a study to determine the best way update the Webster City High School, following action by the board Monday night. The study with FEH Design will look at whether it would be best to remodel or plan new construction at the school and what each option might entail

A study to review potential upgrades or new construction at the Webster City High School was on the agenda Monday night for the school board to consider.

The board met in person at the school administration office, with the public able to join via Zoom teleconferencing platform.

The board held a work session recently to identify potential facility projects throughout the district. Superintendent Mandy Ross said she knew the board had some concerns about the building.

“In order to be transparent to be transparent in your thinking and the board’s work and intention, I thought it would be wise to get motion to direct myself and staff to start working on getting input from FEH,” she said. FEH Design is based out of Des Moines and is the architecture firm that completed a facilities study for the district. Ross said she would have the firm look at whether upgrading or new construction at the high school would be feasible.

“This would authorize me to get that process started,” she said. “That will also give you the data that you need.”

The study would take a two-pronged approach, looking at the potential to remodel and what it would take for new construction.

“This is just to see what is advisable,” she said. “And the other part of the conversation, as you recall, if there would be new construction, what would that footprint look like. How would look that footprint look relative to the competition gym.”

“So there are a lot of variables there and we would need professional advice,” Ross said.

Board member Rich Stroner asked how in depth the study would be.

“Can we have them do kind of shallow look at it and then come back to us? If they spend a tremendous amount of time at both ends without us having a chance to give our input it could be expensive.

The would have a limited scope, according to the superintendent. She said that FEH could come in and give the district a general idea of where the starting point could be if remodeling was selected or if new construction was the option chosen.

“It’s not going to get down to the details. It’s going to be a big picture look if it was remodeling or it was new construction, then this would be the big picture,” she said.

The board authorized the superintendent to start the process with FEH Design to begin the study.

In another facility related matter, the board voted to begin the process of selling the rental house owned by the district in Blairsburg.

The move was another issue discussed at the facilities work session two weeks ago.

The board discussed options available for the sale of the home, including whether it should be sold as-is on site, or whether the sale could be made contingent upon moving the structure off-site.

The house is adjacent to school property. Board member Eric Patterson asked his fellow board members if there was any concern with it being left so close to the school building.

One board member suggested offering the home for a lower price if the buyer was willing to move the structure.

Board member Marlin Pruismann said he knew there were some things that needed repair within the house, but said the district needs to sell the home as-is. Pruismann also said he would be willing to show the house to anyone interested in buying it.

The board authorized Ross to begin the process towards selling the property. She added that she would investigate the steps required to sell the house and the options for the sale.

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