Early-learning center prompts look at space needs
A new facility for newborns through 3-year-old children could be in the near future for the Kuemper Catholic Schools.
Kuemper President Vern Henkenius said the school has been working with BCDM Architects of Des Moines on coming up with a plan to start an early-learning center, part of the school's long-range plan.
Henkenius said the architects are looking at every possibility on where to put the early-learning center, but he expects a new building could be put up.
He said the only open space that Kuemper had was in the high school but the preschool for 4-year-olds is now taking up most of that space.
Henkenius said BCDM will also be looking at the multipurpose facility, more commonly known as the fieldhouse.
He said when the fieldhouse was built it was made only for boys.
There isn't a divider for girls in the current building, and Kuemper is also looking at how the facility could be utilized for middle-school students.
Regarding school safety, BCDM will also be looking at the west entryway to the high school.
Henkenius said if anyone walks into the entryway right now no one may ever know, so part of the reason for the remodel is for safety, and the other is to make the entryway more welcoming.
He said during the November School Board meeting, which was rescheduled to this past Thursday, the board discussed safety issues in Kuemper Schools.
Henkenius said the lockdown procedure was revised. He said several school administrators met to work on a revised plan after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
He said another measure the school is taking is allowing the police department to have more of a presence in the school.
The board agreed to make the police department aware of the floor plans of the school and to give the police department a tour of the school.
Henkenius said the police department already knows a little about the school because they are in the school teaching students in the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program.
During the board meeting, Henkenius said the Finance and Budget Committee reviewed bills through November.
Kuemper is about 42 percent of the way through the year and has spent about 36 percent of its budget.
Henkenius said that is normal because most of the larger bills will come toward the end of the year.
During the meeting, the board also approved Kurt Eischeid as a volunteer wrestling coach, hired Ryan Steinkamp to the resource room program at St. Angela Academy and St. Lawrence and John Wegner as the head girls soccer coach.
The board also authorized soliciting bids on a mid-sized passenger vehicle. It will replace a 1998 Windstar that has 196,000 miles on it.
The next meeting will be Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
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