Marion schools plan new security features

News editor

Marion/Florence USD 408 Board of Education approved the purchase Monday of an electronic key-card entry system for the elementary, middle, and high schools, the sports and aquatics center, middle school gym, and Hill Building.

File Safe of Salina will install the system for $29,020.

“I thought it would be a lot more than that,” board member Sarah Cope said.

Superintendent Lee Leiker recommended installing such a system because the district has many keys that have gone lost and unaccounted for. In a recent example, the gym floor at the elementary school was scuffed up days after being refinished when somebody entered and played basketball, he said.

If somebody loses a key-card, that card can be deactivated without replacing and making obsolete all other cards, unlike with physical keys.

Board member Jan Helmer recommended every staff member’s key-card doubling as a photo ID badge. Leiker said the purchase of the system included equipment to print photo ID badges.

The board also liked the recommendation to install a digital video surveillance system at the high school, although it asked Leiker to seek a bid from a local vendor. The high school previously had a tape video surveillance system, but it hasn’t been functional for some time.

Tabor swim team agreement approved

The board approved a five-year agreement with Tabor College for use of the sports and aquatic center for a college swim team.

The college will pay $150 a week for any week it uses the pool for practice. Since first presenting the proposal in September, Leiker worked out details to not interfere with school use, water aerobics, or lap swimming times. If the college has a swim meet in Marion, rent for that will be separate from the practice agreement.

Audit report positive

Donna Fadenrecht of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk, and Loyd presented the district’s audit. The two areas where the district has financial deficiencies — dividing financial duties so the person doesn’t have authority to purchase and receive goods or services and financial statement reporting — can be resolved for next year’s audit with minimal work, Fadenrecht said.

Facility rent increased

Fees to use school facilities were increased. Leiker was concerned that the fees in place the past six years weren’t enough to cover the district’s cost for utilities and cleanup.

Fees will depend on whether a facility is being used for a whole day or a half day and whether the user is charging admission.

If no admission is charged, fees will be:

Facility ½ day day

Classroom $50 $100

Kitchen $75 $150

Commons $50 $100

MES or MMS gym $100 $200

Sports and aquatic center $300 $500

Performing arts center $200 $300

If admission is charged, fees will be:

Facility ½ day day

Classroom $75 $150

Kitchen $125 $250

Commons $75 $150

MES or MMS gym $150 $250

Sports and aquatic center $500 $750

Performing arts center $300 $400

Other fees include $1,000 for an after-prom party for another school district, $25 for a pool party to use the sports and aquatic center commons, $22 an hour for a custodian, and $20 an hour for food service or other personnel.

In other business:

  • Enrollment, counted Sept. 20, was down as expected, from 534 in 2012 to 506. Leiker said that unless something changes, the district will fall below 500 enrollment next year. Enrollment had been above 600 until 2007-08.
  • Women’s Encounter will use two buses for a trip Nov. 15-17 to Salina. The group will pay all expenses, including fuel and driver.
  • The board approved leasing the Saddle Club building for storage for another year for $3,600. The board wants to discuss purchasing the building next year.
  • The board met in closed session for 50 minutes to discuss personnel and student issues. On return to open session, the board voted to hire Heather Calhoun as aquatics center director for $30,000 and to reduce web page manager Geniece Barger’s pay to $2,500 for reduced duties.
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