• Last modified 552 days ago (Sept. 14, 2017)


Music lessons are in, bats are out

Staff writer

The halls will be alive with the sound of music at Marion-Florence schools, but bats are no longer living in the belfry.

Superintendent Aaron Homburg told the Marion-Florence school board Monday the Hill Building is now bat-free. The historic limestone building, which is used for Butler Community College classes, had about 500 bats take up residents over the summer in the attic and belfry.

Critter Control, a national company with Wichita and Lawrence offices, had three bids for cleanup of bat guano now that the bats are gone.

The board accepted a $13,890 bid to remove guano, affected insulation, treatment with DSV spray to neutralize urine and feces, and treatment for ectoparisites.

The lower bid — $7,840 — did not clean all the guano or remove all the affected insulation. The higher bid — $23,210 — included reinstallation of insulation.

Homburg said insulation reinstallation could be done for cheaper than the nearly $10,000 asked for.

Students who take lessons from Tabor College professors and students will no longer have to drive to Hillsboro. The Marion-Florence school board approved a request from Tabor to use Marion facilities for lessons.

Vocal music teacher Tomas Lambotte said at least seven of his students take lessons at Tabor, but not all of them are of legal driving age, let alone middle and elementary school students who may want to take lessons.

The move allows Tabor professors to teach lessons at $17 per week and Tabor students at $14 per week to Marion-Florence students in Marion facilities.

Lambotte also presented board members with details of a proposed May 30 to June 3 vocal student trip to Chicago. The trip would be about $1,100 per student for about 20 students.

The board approved school fundraisers, including one Lambotte proposed to help pay for the Chicago trip: singing Valentines, complete with roses and chocolates.

The board voted to reopen contract negotiations after meeting in closed session for five minutes.

Board members held 20 minutes of closed session to discuss personnel, followed by two more 10-minute and one five-minute closed sessions. No actions were taken.

In other action

  • Homburg and high school principal Tod Gordon reported that ACT scores are above the state average. The district’s composite score average is 24.3, while the state’s is 21.7. The district average is a five-year high, while the state’s is a five-year low. Nationally, the average is 21.
  • Chase Carlson was hired as middle school girls assistant basketball coach.
  • The board agreed to provide Women’s Encounter with a bus and driver for an event in October. The group will reimburse the district.
  • An out-of-district request for a sophomore from Hillsboro and two requests from students whose family recently moved to Chase County were approved.

Last modified Sept. 14, 2017