Comparing it to a road map with destination points but no route to get there, the Neligh-Oakdale Board of Education voted Monday night to approve a plan of correction for the state fire marshal, which may include cutting the stage nearly in half.
Building and Grounds chairman Ryan Koinzan explained not having details in the plan by saying, “The fire marshal said we need to get to here, and if our map is here and our destination is here, we don’t have to take the interstate between the two. We can take this road or that road or any combination of the other roads.”
Which “roads" would be taken were not specifically laid out at during the more than four-hour meeting. View the full original plan here.
Vice president Brad Higgins questioned how the district would finance the improvements since funding was not mentioned in the plan. Koinzan shook his head and asked fellow committee members David Wright and Kenny Reinke if they could answer that question. Neither offered funding plans for the corrections.
Reinke said, “Some people are bothered by the fire marshal’s vagueness, but to me it allows the opportunity to interpret things to give you time for how you’re going to finance them. To me, it’s something we can look at the budget every year and see what we’re working with.”
Koinzan, who also serves on the Budget and Finance Committee, then asked Lingenfelter how much money the district has available for facility improvements. She said the district currently has about $475,000 in the building fund and will have about $900,000 by September 2015. The 2015-16 budget will not be set until August.
The board did not move forward with installing egress windows for basement occupancy in East Ward. Last month the Building and Grounds Committee said it would cost $5,000 for egress windows. This month the committee said it would cost over $26,000.
After three failed vote attempts on egress windows, board members approved Krista Schindler’s motion 4-2 to add a door to the art room, which would serve as a means of egress for Art only. The other classrooms were not approved at this time.
Much discussion took place on whether the Building and Grounds proposal of constructing platforms with steps to reach egress windows in the basement would be ADA compliant.
Schindler asked how someone in a wheelchair would reach the basement windows via steps to get to the platforms. Koinzan said he is only looking at the fire marshal’s concerns right now, “and they have to be egress through the normal means of traffic,” which he said is how handicap students exit a building that is not on fire.
Reinke suggested using the “good samaritan” rule and helping one another should someone in a wheelchair be in the basement during a fire.
When using the stairs became an issue during discussion, Wright suggested students use the elevator. Members then reminded Wright that elevators cannot be used during a fire.
The plan of correction, which was broken down by East Ward and West Ward facility, was created by Koinzan, Wright and Reinke, along with Ron Gilg and and Cory Fustenau, community members asked by Koinzan to serve on the committee and help decide how to correct the code violations. Four of the five individuals drove to Lincoln last month for a private meeting with state fire marshal officials to receive input on their plan.
The original plan presented Monday had a timeline of August 2016 for the first items to be completed, but board member Chris Ford questioned why some items described as an “easy fix” couldn’t be done sooner. Those timelines, including replacing a window in the preschool room, may be completed earlier but the timeline remains August 2016.
As for the stage area ventilation cited by the fire marshal, Koinzan suggested instead of putting a ventilation system in the stage area, the district cut the area nearly in half and use it for storage so it could be exempt for that requirement. He said Gilg “stepped off” the stage, and it looks to be about 1,700 square feet. If the stage is cut to less than 1,000 square, it would not have to have the ventilation fan, he said.
Higgins objected to cutting the stage space that dramatically, saying “I don’t think that’s the wisest decision.” Wright said it was an option, not a recommendation at this time.
“We have no idea,” Wright said. “We haven’t had the opportunity to look into what the ventilation or the curtain is going to cost.”
More stories from the board meeting will follow.
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