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Baord Meeting Recap – March 25th

March 26, 2008

There were two scheduled reports at the meeting. First, Leslee Neithammer, the director of the Saline District Library shared information regarding the progress on building renovations. The project is coming along very nicely and is set to re-open this May. We’ll miss having them at Liberty School, although Ms. Neithammer indicated she and her staff are excited and eager to move back to the remodeled library facility.

Next up was Mr. Neal Elyakin who delivered a well-rounded review of our Special Education department. Mr. Elyakin has been the director of special education since May, 2007. His review included information regarding staff and an increase in student enrollment within the department. He provided insight as to how this has occurred during a time of slightly declining enrollment in the district as a whole. Our Young Adult program was highlighted as a model that many in Washtenaw County are looking to replicate.

The Board then approved the CARES Advisory Council’s phase II recommendations that included various projects totaling over $443,000. CARES funds must be spent on programs and projects that support cultural arts, recreation, enrichment, or senior citizen services. The projects for this phase include: Saline Area Youth Baseball and Softball field updates, school theatre improvements, Henne Field re-development, Saline Community Garden expansion, Rec On the Go, Movie in the Park, new campus athletic complex infrastructure, Saline Community Television Network equipment upgrades and Woodland Meadows playground pathway and structure.

The Board then reviewed and approved the purchase of 5 new school busses for the 2008-2009 school year. The overall cost will be over $420,000. The cost will be over a 6 year payment schedule, with annual payments of $80,000. Transportation director Ms. Cyndi McLennan and Mr. Tom Wall both highlighted the need to continue to replace busses in our aging fleet. We currently have 44 buses and would like to get to a 10 year cycle of replacement. Our oldest bus right now is 19 years old – the purchase of these busses will allow us to retire that bus. No busses were purchased during the present school year.

There were also a couple of business action items related to electronic transfers and possible borrowing of funds during the summer months to effectively manage cash flow.

The next regular Board of Education meeting is Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00pm.

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