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Farwell BOE hears renovation plans

The Farwell Board of Education held their first February meeting at the Timberland Alternative Education building last Monday.

Superintendent Carl Seiter gave the Board an update concerning the Affordable Care Act and how it will impact employees at Farwell High School.

“We are beginning to dig into the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,” Seiter stated. “From what I currently understand, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, if you are an employer with 50 or more full time employees, then you will be governed by the employer shared responsibility provisions of the act. Their definition of a full time employee is anyone working 30 or more hours per week.”

He added, “February 15th, the RESD is hosting a seminar by an insurance consulting firm that will explain in great detail the provisions of the act for the local business people. It is very, very long and very confusing and I’m definitely glad to see the consulting firm come and help us sort through this. We will have many decisions to make at a later date as to what coverage we will need.”

Seiter also reported that the Farwell Area Schools Endowment Fund is currently at $6,437.31. There were two recent donations made to the fund of which Seiter was not certain whether they were reflected in this total.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation made by Scott Kleinsorge, the design representative from DK Design Group. The company has taken on the task of designing floor plans for the renovation of the Timberland building.

Kleinsorge began, “The main portion of what we’re doing is converting the main garage into a multi-purpose room with a total of 75 new lockers placed around the perimeter. We are removing the two overhead doors and replacing them with smaller doors and windows for light and ventilation. We are also converting a conference room into a classroom.”

In accordance with the State of Michigan building codes, the construction project will change the whole building over from a combination of storage and educational use to completely educational. All of the rooms will comply with the existing state codes and therefore can be utilized as classrooms if necessary. This change will also allow the school to add on to the existing structure at any time in the future.

“We know that you’re on a tight budget for this project,” Kleinsorge added. “We’re trying to keep everything as lean and mean as we possibly can for you and still meet the intent of the building codes. Our plan is to get the bidding out on the street as soon as the Board votes on a budget. The overall plan is to have it completed by August 1st, if everything lines up for us.”

In closing, the Board was introduced to Dixie Adams who has been chosen to fill the position of Middle School Choice Room representative. The Board unanimously approved Adam’s appointment.

Adams stated to the Board, “I am more than thrilled to be back with the Farwell School system and I am looking forward to working with our at-risk kids.”

The Board of Education meeting was adjourned at 7:50 pm, with the Board going into a closed session