Lexington National Guard Armory

LEXINGTON – Lexington Public School Superintendent Dr. John Hakonson announced at Monday’s meeting of the Lexington Board of Education that LPS had bid on the former Lexington National Guard Armory located at 302 S. Washington Street.

The building, which is located next door to the district’s administrative office, was sold by the State of Nebraska by a sealed bidding process. The deadline for bids was 4 p.m. Saturday.

The district paid $10,000 for the building, which is 16,000 square-foot.

School officials have several ideas on how to use the building, but no set plans were announced.

School board meetings will continue to be held 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

That decision, along with the swearing in of new school board member Larry Steinberger, was just part of the business required by statute since it’s the beginning of a new calendar year.

In addition to Steinberger reading the oath of office, board members selected Kent Gydesen to serve as president of the Lexington Board of Education. Serving as vice president and secretary will be Jeff Wightman and Rod Reynolds, respectively.

Board members will continue to serve on the same committees as they have in the past with Steinberger taking Fran Acosta-Carlson’s spot on the technology, curriculum, calendar and activities committees.

Although not a lot has been said publicly, LPS is taking a hard look at school security and what can be done to further insure the safety of Lexington students since the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut last month.

“We’re taking that seriously with the shooting,” said Dr. Hakonson, stating the district is behind the scenes looking at various options. In addition, school officials are considering the possibility of a school resource officer.

Lexington Police Chief Tracy Wolf sat down with officials at Lexington Public Schools recently to discuss the possibility as well as safety precautions the schools can take.

Among the options the district is considering is a “buzz-in” type of entrances to schools, although they acknowledged Sandy Hook had a similar security measure in place and it failed or was bypassed.

No action was on the table in regard to security.

Tabled was the 2013 Facility Use Handbook and Facility Use Fees.

The handbook, which outlines which groups the school would charge for use of school facilities as well as how much the fees should be, breaks potential users into three categories. In the first category are internal groups, such as the Lexington Education Association, the Parent-Teacher Association and student groups, among others.

The second group includes non-profits that benefit students, such as scouts, 4-H Clubs, the YMCA, Community Fitness Initiative and Miss Voz Latina, among others.

The final category includes businesses who operate for-profit ventures, religious and political organizations as well as individuals who operate for profit. Facility fees outlined in the proposal would range from $20 to $150, with additional fees for kitchen use, audio-visual equipment or snow and ice removal for an event.

Questions about joint-use priority and removal of certain types of school property necessitated some language changes in the handbook before board members could okay it.

The meeting ended in executive session so board members could discuss collective bargaining with the LEA and compensation for classified and administrative staff for 2013-2014 and to consider extending unpaid medical leave for Kristi Bartlett until the end of the 2012-2013 school year.

When board members emerged from the closed session, they approved Bartlett’s unpaid leave.

In other business:

– Lexington High School principal Kyle Hoehner announced there were 17 students who graduated mid-term in December. Rather than hold a separate ceremony for those students, Hoehner said they would walk in the May graduation ceremony with their cohort class.

Hoehner also advised the board that 2014 would mark 100 years of LHS’ educational accreditation.

– Renovations at Bryan Elementary School are on schedule with a targeted completion date of August 2013, in time for the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.

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