Education & Agriculture

MeierfarmState Rep. Charlie Meier will host his seventh annual “An Evening on the Meier Farm on Friday, July 27. The farm is located at 13597 Railroad Road in Okawville.    This free event is open to the public and a good opportunity to meet the representative.
    Illinois State Rep. Charlie Meier would like to invite you and your family to the seventh annual "An Evening on the Meier Farm."
    The event will be held on Friday, July 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. This event is free and open to everyone.
    The event offers a chance to meet Rep. Charlie Meier and see his historic family farm built by his great-grandparents. Using mules, Meier’s grandmother Christina Borgmann hauled all the logs to build this home. Meier has preserved many family antiques and tours of the home will be available. There will be an opportunity for kids to have a tractor ride and see what it is like living on a farm. This year, guests will also be able to see all of the recent updates that Meier has made to his home. 
    Brats, hot dogs, lemonade, tea and water will be provided. Please feel free to bring lawn chairs and make plans to spend the evening. A tent will be available so the event will go on,  rain or shine.
    Several other state and local politicians have been invited to join in on the evening. 
    Directions to Charlie Meier's farm are as follows: from 64 take exit 41 and turn toward Okawville. Take a left on Hen House Road (the first left between the Dollar General Store and Road Ranger Gas Station). Go 1/3 of a mile to a stop sign (T road) and make a right on Fifth Street Road. Going west another 1/3 of a mile, you will cross a bridge. Immediately after the bridge on the left is the driveway to the Meier Farm. This road will take you straight to the house. The address is 13597 Railroad Road in Okawville. 
    Hope to see you all there!

    During a lengthy meeting Monday night of the Central Community High School board, Superintendent Kevin Meyer informed the board that Durham School Services recently terminated their contract for bus services with the district. 
    Durham had a three-year contract with the district and there were still two years left on the contract, however, Meyer said that the bus service had pulled out after they lost out on another local school for transportation services.
    In April 2017, Central approved Durham School Services for a three year contract for special transportation services, which the bids were for special needs runs,  athletic trips, field trips and other transportation services.
    Durham was the lowest bidder at the time between Zurliene Bus Service and M and K Bus Service.
    With Durham pulling out of their contract, the board then went to the next lowest bidder, with Zurliene Bus Service as the low bidder for the special education runs and the bowling run and M and K Bus service was the low bidder for the athletic trips, field trips and band trips.
    Meyer expressed his disapproval of the early termination with Durham, stating that the difference costs the district $42,000.
    In other news, under Old Business, Meyer said that a great deal of work continues to progress on the 2018-2019 Renovations and Buildings Additions projects. 
     “At this time, we continue to have a tremendous amount of activity going on at the school,” he said. “As I told you last month, the most hectic part of our projects are going on right now.”
    The 2018-2019 renovations and building addition projects include replacement of the HVAC rooftop system, which is over 20 years old, and renovation of outdoor facilities, including football bleachers and press box, sprinkler system, lighting, fencing, and dugouts. In addition, there is a possibility of building a media/research and technology center and a new building addition for the band program.
    Meyer said that the HVAC renovations are focused on placement of the large rooftop units and coordination of the computerized part of the system. 
    “We are slightly behind on the schedule because of the wait time on the large multi-zone units, but all information is that we will be operational the first of August,” he said.
    The board approved application for payment #2 in the amount of $131,829.75 on the HVAC project.
    Meyer added that outdoor renovations are focused on the football and track facility, where most of the concrete areas have been poured, bleachers have arrived and are being set up and that the press box will quickly follow. 
    In addition, he said, fencing will be installed shortly,  lighting is underway and the irrigation systems under the soccer and football field are in and will be utilized for temporary usage. 
    “The storage building and officials building are under construction and the practice football field is roughly completed with all storm sewer systems in place,” he said. “Although work has been done in these areas, the second phase will include the softball, baseball, and junior varsity baseball areas due for completion in October.”
    The board then approved application for payment #2 for $655,271.15 on the outdoor renovations.
    Meyer then added that the early construction work was focused mostly on excavations on the building additions. 
    “After a brief period of no sewer or water in that adjacent area of the building, the issues have been resolved,” he said, adding that heavy equipment has been the major action, but some footing and concrete work will soon begin. 
    The board then approved application for payment #1 in the amount of $82,405.80 for that work.
    “Other projects are also moving along this summer,” Meyer added. “The oil and chip of the parking lot area is waiting to be scheduled depending upon the project status and the custodians are closing in on sealing hallways and in the Commons Area.”
    He said that Albers Painting will be painting hallways and the Commons Area next week and several doors and areas are being painted by school staff.  The gym floors will also be resealed and closed for use this weekend. 
    Meyer reported that they have not received official information regarding the Career and Technical Education (CTE) grant and Perkins Tutorial grant commitments or allocations.
    “Every indication of the people at the CTE office has confirmed a likely approval,” Meyer said, adding that just as other years in the past, they are hopeful that they can supplement the Response to Intervention (RtI) tutoring services with supply and material money from the Career and Technical Education grant program annually received from the CTE system.  “When we get word, we will move forward with the CTE part of the program,” he said, adding that this program also affects the purchase of other items for the CTE teachers at Central who are planning on certain supplies, materials and equipment as well.
    In other news, Central students are asked to pick up their 2018-2019 schedules and pay student fees between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the main office beginning Wednesday, Aug. 1 through Monday, Aug. 6. For their convenience, on Wednesday, Aug. 1, parents can pick up their child’s schedule and pay student fees from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be a One-to-One Chromebook open forum at 7 p.m. on Aug. 1.
    Other important dates to remember include freshman orientation on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.; the first day of school for students on Thursday, Aug. 16 from 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.; and Tuesday, Aug. 21 is Photo Day for students.
    In other action, the board approved to hire Casey Etter as the volunteer assistant volleyball coach and Juan Martinez as the assistant boys soccer coach. 
    The board also approved to hire Raeshelle Braye as the Special Education teacher and in school suspension supervisor.
    The school is seeking a part-time technology aide who could help with maintenance with the service of Chromebooks.
    Central board meetings are held the third Monday of every month at 7 p.m in the board room at Central.

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