IRON RIVER—The West Iron County school campus will have a different look starting next fall—and not just the new entryways being built this summer.
At its April 21 regular meeting, the School Board learned that the WIC Student Council has donated $18,000 that will be used to purchase an LED message board.
The message board will be mounted right above the West Iron County sign at the south end of the school complex.
Darin Barry, advisor for the Student Council, said it will be made by Cook Design of Marquette. Decisions on how the message board will be combined with the district’s sign will be made later. Barry said he has been told there are footings on the side.
“Everything will be operated from my room, from a computer,” Barry said. “It’s going to have to have security on the computer.”
The message board will cost about $18,700. “Most of the money will be paid for by Student Council. The rest of the money will come from the Tri-Paw Lodge.”
Barry said it includes the cost of the board and installation, “whatever our design is.” Any brickwork needed will be the district’s responsibility—possibly an eligible use of sinking fund money.
One board member observed that the district’s sign “is starting to disappear” behind some shrubbery planted nearby.
“I think that is very commendable of the Student Council,” Board Member Faye Atanasoff told Barry. Board members talked about similar signs they have seen at other schools, telling the public about upcoming events.
• The district voted to accept bids for security cameras, going with the low bid by Teck Solutions of Iron Mountain, $44,792.
Superintendent Chris Thomson said district officials have already looked through the buildings, identifying places where they want cameras mounted. The wiring work has already been done.
Two companies made bids, and the business committee recommended the Teck bid.
Thomson said the cameras can be purchased using funds from its Billings trust, money earmarked for scholarships, technology improvements and building needs, “all the way back to when we opened the high school in ’94.” With the interest being earned from the funds, Thomson said, the purchase will not affect West Iron’s present scholarships.
Board President Roy Polich said the district has spent a lot in recent years to improve security two ways: better regulating who can enter school buildings and the upcoming work on the student dropoff-pickup area.
“This camera,” said Polich, “is part of an ongoing security analysis we did of this district, to make sure our kids are secure from outside threats and able to get in and out of our buildings safely.” The motion to purchase the cameras passed 6-1, with Board Member Erik Malmquist opposed.
• The board approved probationary status for several teachers—and then issued pink slips (layoff notices) for several of them.
Thomson explained that new staff members need to go through four years of probationary status. After evaluations, district officials made recommendations to the board.