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Jensen gives grant update, gets 1-year deal

By Staff | Mar 25, 2012

Kathy Krebsbach

It was good news, but not quite what United South Central School District officials wanted to hear.

Superintendent Jerry Jensen told School Board members the district has been recommended to receive a grant to build a new school.

However, the amount would be for $5 million, not the $20 million district officials had hoped for.

“It’s better than nothing. Steve and I will try to lobby hard,” Jensen told the board.

The superintendent and board member Steve Navara were planning to make a trip to the State Capitol on Wednesday.

Jensen says two other districts – Rushford-Peterson and Red Lake – also were being considered for funding in the House bonding bill.

Rushford-Peterson would get $7.5 million and Red Lake, $7.9 million.

On Thursday, Jensen had even more disappointing news.

He says none of the three school building projects were in the bonding bill.

“We’re disappointed. But, I talked to some legislators and they said the projects could still be added,” he says. “We’re still hopeful, but it is not looking quite as good to us.”

Jensen says a lot can happen before the legislative session ends. So, districts officials will just have to wait and see.

Cost of building a new schoool to house grades K-12 is estimated at $28 million, while remodeling and upgrades at the current school campus would be around $20 million.

Jensen says the district is still planning to hold a bonding referendum on Aug. 14, the day primary elections will be held.

In other business, the board approved a one-year conrtact for Jensen.

His three-year contract ends this year.

In his annual job performance evaluation, Jensen received an overall average score of 4.784, based on a 5.0 point scale.

He was rated on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being considered outstanding performance.

“His performance is much better than very good, and a scooch down from outstanding,” says board chair Kathy Krebsbach.

Jensen’s job appraisal involved 10 different areas with four to six sub-categories in each.

With the approval of the one-year agreement, Jensen’s salary will increase $1,000 to $78,500.

The superintendent’s contract calls for a three-day work week and his pay is based on 156 days annually.