Cambridge schools ponder uses for new sales tax revenue

Originally Posted Online: April 30, 2013, 9:37 pm
Last Updated: May 01, 2013, 12:34 am
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By Lisa Hammer,

Cambridge schools superintendent Tom Akers presented board members with a list of possible improvements that could be made using the district's proceeds from the new one-cent countywide sales tax.

The tax, approved April 9, will be collected starting Jan. 1. It is estimated Cambridge schools will receive $182,332 per year based on sixth-day enrollment figures.

Mr. Akers' list included:

At the high school:
-- A new boiler system, $250,000
-- Replacing the boiler system with geothermal, $1.6 million
-- Parking lot asphalt and base, $207,000
-- Asphalt parking lot only, $115,000
-- Adding an intercom and camera, $30,000.

At the grade school:
-- Securing the main entry, $65,000
-- Securing the back entry, $32,500
-- Installing a card reader system at the playground entrance, $2,500
-- Resurfacing the front circular driveway with base, $54,000
-- Resurfacing the front driveway with asphalt only, $30,000
-- Resurfacing the back parking lot, $85,000.

In addition to the building projects, the district could retire debt on the grade school's geothermal system and the roof repairs.

In the meantime, the board approved a $50,000 matching grant for security doorways already written into the school district's 10-year use of health life safety money. The new entry system will have cards for district employees and a buzzer system for visitors.

Also on Tuesday, grade school principal Shelly Capps reported she has discussed ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate) training with first- through sixth-grade classrooms and drills will be held.

During public participation, senior Brandon Nelson said he wished there was renewed support for the J. Kyle Braid leadership program in Colorado, noting that just sending two students didn't achieve much because it's hard for two students to make a difference. He also said the program hadn't raised enough money to send anyone this year.

Mr. Akers said the effort has been switched to a possible weekend program for four to six students.

Bonnie and Randy Swanson also thanked the board for its support of a fundraiser for the Shriner's Hospitals this winter. The basketball game fundraiser gathered just shy of $4,300 for Shriners, which has treated the Swanson's son, Jake, a Cambridge freshman and basketball player with longitudinal deficiency of the fibula. He has undergone two surgeries.

Another $800 was raised at the grade school in a coin collection.

"We thought that was great. More than we expected," said Ms. Swanson.

Following a closed session, the board announced:
-- Kayla Dixon as district art teacher
-- Marcy Strand as junior/senior high school Spanish teacher
-- Maria Black as high school math teacher
-- Gordon Sammons as junior/senoior high vocational agriculture teacher
-- Valerie Kline as physical ed/high school English teacher
-- Myra Houzenga as Title I reading teacher
-- Josh Bentley as high school football coach
-- Amanda Bennett as varsity dance coach
-- Laura Cooper and Charlie Brown as summer custodial workers
-- Terry Anderson as junior high football coach.

The board also waived a list of school holidays while noting it is still planned to observe and not hold school on Veterans Day and Martin Luther King Day, even with official waivers in place for those days.


Local events heading

  Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river.
1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.

(More History)