During the Kamiah School Board meeting Aug. 21, several topics were addressed, including the progress of repairs to the Kamiah Middle School gymnasium floor. It was damaged in early May when utility workers struck a water main on Hill Street.
“As of right now, the old floor has been ripped out completely because of expanse of water underneath the surface on top of the concrete,” said Kamiah Superintendent Steve Higgins. “There’s a new floor that has been ordered and I heard last week that it should start to go in as early as tomorrow; it would be an upgraded floor. Insurance is covering it so that’s a done deal there, there’s no liability on us.”
“We invoiced the city on the deductible and haven’t heard anything back on that,” added Higgins. “The new floor should be in earlier than expected.”
Work on the middle school roof is now complete and ready for the new school year. “We went over the contract and everything that was in the contract was done the way it was supposed to be done according to the process,” said Higgins.
The superintendent’s report also included a recent incident involving an osprey nest on a light pole at the football field which caught on fire over the weekend.
According to Higgins, a plan to safely remove the nest and put it elsewhere was already in the works, but the lights were turned on and the nest caught fire, burning not only the entire nest but the top portion of the pole.
“Our biggest concern at this point is structural damage, there’s two lights for sure that completely burned up. The main junction box, you can tell it’s been very hot and a lot of the wires were compromised,” said Higgins. The plan is to take the lights down, repair them completely, then assess the damage to the pole and decide if it needs to be completely replaced or just repaired.
A suggestion was made by Andrew Puckett to use a drone to fly over the pole to assess the damage rather than the alternate idea of using a crane which would be more expensive.
In other school news, a decision was made by the board to amend the school bus route to allow several students in the Woodland area bus access. Previous plans to shorten certain bus routes due to funding constraints for the drivers were amended when it became clear that several students would be affected by the change.
“I think we need to extend that route,” said board member Brandaan DeGroot. “I think there’s enough kids there, if there was like one or two we may be able to discuss another option but that’s a lot of kids… we’re talking about not making it easier for kids to leave district but the kids that ARE here, we’re making it harder for them to come to school. I don’t think that’s on par with what we’re doing,” added DeGroot, who felt that it was important to continue providing school transportation to five students living just past the proposed bus route.
In keeping with a sign of the times, the board also discussed a possible policy regarding social media and its uses pertaining to students and school staff. A second reading of the proposed policy will take place at next month’s regular board meeting on Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kamiah High School Library.