Central receives funds for STEM projects

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By Pam Reinig, Times-Register

 

Central graduate and recent Hall of Fame inductee Michael Osterloh has given $5,000 to Central Schools for STEM programming. The gift was acknowledged at a recent Central School Board meeting, but no specific STEM projects have yet been identified.

 

The board also received information on the Volkswagen Clean Air Act settlement. Applications for grants from the settlement are being accepted through early March by the Iowa Department of Transportation. If awarded, the grant will cover 30 percent of the cost of replacing a diesel bus with a new diesel bus, 40 percent of the cost of replacing a diesel bus with a new propane bus or 50 percent of the cost of replacing a diesel bus with a new electric bus. The new bus must be used in the same manner as the old bus.

 

Fuel savings would be about $12,000 annually, if all LP buses were used on the school’s five bus routes. The grant could replace the 2008 and 2009 buses. 

 

“This was more of an FYI item,” said superintendent Nick Trenkamp. “We will apply for the grant and, if we get it, the board will have to decide whether to move forward or not.”

 

Trenkamp, who is also the school’s elementary principal, provided an update on new playground equipment and shared drawings from companies. The board will soon accept one of the two proposals so that work can begin this spring.

 

COVID numbers at the school remain low. Following guidance provided by Gov. Kim Reynolds, events are open to all spectators but masks are required and social distancing will be enforced. The school is piloting a new schedule for basketball games. They are moving away from Tuesday “quad scheduling,” which allows for boys and girls junior varsity as well as boys and girls varsity games on the same night. Instead, girls and boys teams with split Mondays and Tuesdays. Quads will be restricted to Fridays.

 

High school principal and athletic director Aaron Reinhart announced that Martha Bauder has been selected to receive the 2021 Golden Plaque Award for Track and Field. This is the highest honor a coach can receive; Bauder is just the ninth recipient in school history.

 

The board agreed to a work session with Larson Construction on a classroom remodel project. The company was responsible for the school’s recent capital improvement project. That work session was scheduled for early February.

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