Construction management

School board to consider construction management bid for new high school – Mitchell Republic

The Mitchell Board of Education is expected to approve the construction management bid for the proposed new Mitchell High School building on Tuesday.

Discussion and action on the issue will take place at the regular council meeting on Tuesday, October 12 at 5 p.m. in the Mitchell Middle School cafeteria. The meeting is open to the public.

Mitchell School District Superintendent Joe Graves said in his agenda notes that he would recommend the board select Puetz Design + Build, of Mitchell, to handle construction management services for the project, which has been in development in the district for several years.

After an initial review, Graves said school officials evaluated interested companies on a number of criteria, including experience, services provided and its cost and fee structure. They then narrowed the number of applicants to two and reviewed the criteria, conducted interviews and reviewed the presentations.

The criteria were weighted to experience at 40%, and services provided and cost and fee structures at 20% each.

“As a result, the top-rated company was named Puetz Design + Build,” Graves wrote.

Graves noted that Puetz Design + Build is the same company that provided construction management services for the construction of the Performing Arts Center.

The school board should also discuss the possibility of live streaming its own meetings.

The Mitchell School District does not currently broadcast its own meetings live, although the Republic of Mitchell provided the meeting broadcast to its readers during the final months of the 2021-22 school year.

Graves wrote in his agenda notes that he and Levi Hohn, director of technology for the Mitchell School District, gathered information about options that would allow the district to broadcast meetings, although he believes he even that broadcasting should be left in the hands of private enterprise.

“(My recommendation is) to allow the private company to continue to provide live streaming/recording of board meetings and not to pursue a live streaming system by the Mitchell School District” , wrote Graves.

Graves cites several reasons the district didn’t establish its own streaming service. This includes the cost of a camera system in room 10 at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy, the time and cost of operation and maintenance of the system by technology department personnel, ongoing upgrading this system and the costs associated with establishing an archive of video recordings.

The board will make the final decision on the matter, however, Graves said.

“Having said all that, I know of other school districts to live stream and record their meetings. So if the board wants to do that, of course I will,” Graves said.

If the council wanted to pursue its own live broadcast system, Graves said he would recommend using State DDN video units. These are old units that were once used to offer distance learning courses. The district could then use the state’s video network through and the school district’s website. Equipment and ongoing costs would be free except for employee time, although the quality of the stream may be lower than desired. At some point, the equipment would have to be replaced or updated, which would incur costs.

“Benefits of (this system) include short-term cost savings, strengthening our current relationship with the state, and eliminating any concerns about our content or information being sold to a third party,” wrote Graves.

The board must also consider the following staff movements:

  • New Certified Hires of Melissa Miller, Middle School Music Instructor, $2,055, beginning in the 2021-22 school year and Emily Brunsing, Grade 3 (0.5 FTE) at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, $23,375, from September 20, 2021.

  • The new ranked hires of Linus Mayer, guard, $14 per hour, effective September 21, 2021; Becky Anderson, librarian at Longfellow Elementary, $14 per hour, 7.5 hours per day, beginning October 15, 2021 and Lee Gair, janitor at LB Williams Elementary, $14 per hour, 8 hours per day, from October 15, 2021.

  • The hiring of Kimberly Max, Dean of Students, $52,500, effective October 1, 2021.

  • The resignations of Mitchell High School cheer coach Cassey VerHey, effective in the 2021-22 school year; Allison Pierson, speaking consultant at Mitchell Middle School, beginning in the 2021-22 school year; Nikki Beukelman, library assistant at Longfellow Elementary, effective October 15, 2021; Cody Foreman, head track coach, beginning in the 2021-22 school year; Jenny Kunkel, Dishwasher/Server, effective September 23, 2021 and Keri Munsen, Head Women’s Golf Coach, effective in the 2021-22 school year

  • The resignations from Mitchell Technical College of Stephanie Friesen, Events and Corporate Education Coordinator, effective September 24, 2021 and Laurie Kenworthy, Campus Store Manager, effective October 5, 2021.

Also at the meeting, the board should:

The Mitchell Republic will broadcast the meeting live.

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