POSEN - To put the finishing touches on a lighting project for Posen Consolidated Schools, the school board agreed to purchase around $4,000 worth of new LED bulbs.
These bulbs will complete a replacement of the building's interior lighting with the more energy-efficient kind of lights. Superintendent John Palmer said the original order for the project miscounted the number of bulbs needed. The board also approved buying $2,000 worth of new emergency lighting, and Palmer will verify these lights meet fire safety standards. Their cost could be largely offset when the district returns some light covers.
Palmer said he expects the district could get another $775 energy efficiency rebate from Presque Isle Gas & Electric Cooperative, the district's energy supplier. In November, the board approved the $105,341 project to replace lights that took the T-12 fluorescent bulb, a variety that is no longer made. In exchange for using the more energy-efficient bulbs, PIE&G gave the district a $13,209 rebate.
The difference was noticeable in the high school library Monday evening. Student council member Jaden Styma remarked on the changes as well, noting the difference is quite drastic in some classrooms. Next, the district will get new emergency exit lights over each doorway, Palmer said, provided board member Jesse Chappa's concerns are answered. The lights would replace the backup lighting throughout the hall, and Chappa wondered if this would be enough to meet building codes and fire safety regulations.
Finalizing the lighting project was one of a handful of issues the school board handled at its first meeting of the year.
In other business:
* Ken Wozniak will serve as board president, Andy Stone as vice president, Mitch Mulka as secretary and Dennis Budnick as treasurer. Board members unanimously approved each board officer nomination.
* with the exception of February, board meetings will continue to be held on the third Monday of each month in the high school library. The next meeting will be on Feb. 10 due to the class schedule, Palmer said.
* February is school board appreciation month, so Palmer thanked the board for its work. Styma thanked board members on behalf of the students as well, and he and student council member Kayla Flewelling gave them a certificate of appreciation and a goody bag.
* Styma thanked the board for agreeing to change the district hat policy. In December, board members opted to relax rules on hats but tighten them on hooded sweatshirts. Hats are now allowed in the hallways, and teachers can choose whether to allow them in their classrooms. Palmer said in December that hoods won't be allowed in the building due to safety concerns; most hoods conceal a person's face to the point where a person can't be identified as they're walking down the school halls.
"I talked to some students who wore hoods, and they said they'd just get hats," Styma said Monday, adding most students seem to be complying with the new rules. In response to a question from Wozniak, Styma said a fair amount of teachers are allowing hats in their classrooms, although he didn't have an exact count yet.
* Palmer told the board the district has had four snow days out of the six allowed by state law. He met earlier Monday with superintendents from neighboring districts to discuss concerns with extremely low wind chills, road conditions and when they'd call each other and local road commissions to discuss school closures.
"When you've got a wind chill at -20, buses start gelling up, they won't run," he said after the meeting, referring to how diesel fuel reacts to extreme cold.
* Palmer gave board members an updated student count. There are 241 students in the district.