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Thursday, November 8th, 2018

New Bremen district snags $1M donation

Dianne Komminsk pledges money for new center

By Jeff Elking
NEW BREMEN - The school district has received a $1 million donation for the new school project, superintendent Jason Schrader announced at Wednesday's special board meeting.
According to the resolution, Dianne Komminsk has committed to donate the funds to New Bremen Local Schools for the construction of the Komminsk Center for Innovative Thinking. This will serve as a connector between the existing high school and the new building.
Preliminary possible uses for the area include flexible spaces for robotics; career exploration; maker space for project-based learning, such as science, technology, engineering and math projects; and a pre-kindergarten area.
As board members approved the resolution, Schrader on behalf of the district, school board and community expressed their "sincere gratitude to Ms. Dianne Komminsk for her ongoing support to our school to ensure that students are provided with unique experiences and opportunities that would not otherwise be possible."
Komminsk has been a frequent benefactor to both the school district and numerous community projects, including most recently the Komminsk Legacy Park located downtown on the site of the former Lions Club Park, which includes many interactive activities and a splash pad.
In other action, Schrader shared a presentation entitled, "Honor our History, Prepare for our Future." Highlights included updates to the building project from the pre-bond phase to the present status. Changes include items that showed cost savings of $320,952 from fiscal year 2017 to 2019. Some factors contributing to the savings included staffing reductions due to attrition and the change from three principals to two.
For the 2020-2021 school year, projections include additional savings of $452,849 in health care and staffing as the district adjusts from having nearly 1,000 students in previous years to about 750.
"Everything we do, we justify our practices, why do we do it this way, and can we do it better," Schrader said.
The $20 million project is set for student occupancy for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year with site work expected to begin this spring.
Board member Suzanne Wells questioned how best to keep the public informed of these changes and progress on the project. Other members' suggestions included social media, adding the presentation to the school website and possible public meetings to keep the community informed.
Also presented to the board was an alternate list of items that could be included in the new school project based on the cost of project bids. Items include a driveway from the south parking lot to Kettler Road, site work to include a bus garage, north parking lot work including milling and resurfacing and ceramic wall tile.
Members met in executive session to discuss personnel and security arrangements with no action to be taken afterward. The next regularly scheduled meeting is on Wednesday.
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