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Special LP-A ‘work session’ set Jan. 19

The Lake Park-Audubon School Board will be holding a special work session at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19, at the LP-A High School, to begin hammering out options for the proposed construction of a new Early Learning Center addition at LP-A Elementary School in Audubon.

Plans for the work session were finalized at the board’s organizational meeting, held Wednesday night in Audubon.

Besides reviewing plans for the Early Learning addition and remodeling project that were presented at the board’s December meeting, the work session will also include a review of other possible options, as well as taking a look at options for the old high school building.

In December, the board opted to delay plans for shutting down utilities in the old high school building, due to the fact that a potential buyer for the facility had come forward.

On Wednesday, LP-A Superintendent Dale Hogie said that no progress had been made on that front.

After a recent meeting with the “interested party,” as well as realtor Steve Larson and Becker County Economic Development Coordinator Guy Fischer, Hogie said, “There is no offer on the building at this time.”

In other business Wednesday, Board Chair Vicky Grondahl was re-elected to her position for another year.

Also re-elected were Vice Chair Bryan Anderson, Clerk Daryl Pederson and Treasurer Mike McIntire.

Detroit Lakes Newspapers was once more designated as the district’s official newspaper, and Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer & Kerschner of Fergus Falls was named as district legal counsel.

Board committee assignments were reviewed and approved, and meeting per diems and meal reimbursements were set at the same rate as last year.

The board also discussed at length the possibility of establishing an official cold weather policy with regard to school closures and late starts, but ultimately opted to leave the decision in the hands of the superintendent and transportation director, as it had been in the past.

Anderson said he was uncomfortable with the possible precedent that had been set by Governor Mark Dayton’s recent decision to call off school all across the state on Monday, rather than leaving such decisions in the hands of the individual districts.

“This cold weather policy the governor set scares me, because I think it sets a precedent,,” he admitted.

Hogie said he felt it was unlikely the governor would take such drastic action again in the near future, because the decision had not been met with universal approval across the state. He added that in some districts in the northern part of the state, Monday’s temperatures were actually warmer than they had been on days when the districts had opted to hold classes.

Anderson also said he was “not comfortable with setting a number” as the temperature/wind chill at which school would definitively be called off, because there are other factors involved as well, and such decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.

“I’m comfortable with you and Keith (Zachariason, the district’s transportation director) continuing to make those decisions,” Grondahl told Hogie, and the other board members agreed.

“Thank you for the vote of confidence,” Hogie said.

The date and time of the regular January school board meeting was set at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27, in Lake Park, while the February regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m.

Unless otherwise specified, all other regular board meetings for the year will be held on the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m., with the location of the meetings to rotate between the elementary school in Audubon and the high school in Lake Park.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

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