Embrace the Mess

Posted: June 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

One of the best lessons I learned as I was preparing to be come a superintendent was from my former superintendent Rich Bridenstine.  Mr. Bridenstine would take routine trips around the district just to be out and about and see what was going on.  He would call these “tours of the ‘kingdom'”.  I have picked up on this routinely and daily, these days, drive around the District to see what is going on.  Lately these trips have focused on the “mess” that is laying about the school property.

After a recent trip to check in on the progress of the projects, I was hit with the realization of how much we really took on this summer.  Here is a short rundown of the improvements being made to our campus:

  • New High School Gym Bleachers – Complete with handrails for assistance climbing up and down the bleachers at your next visit to an ELC event.  This project should be completed on Friday, June 26.
  • Recrowning of the the football field – Although it may look as though the football field lies flat, it actually is supposed to have a slight slope to it to drain off surface water.  Over time this slope decreases and soil compaction can take place to the point where water begins to stand in the field.  This was the case at our field and so the decision was made to recrown it while we had the track tore up.  The field has been crowned to a 1% slope, new sprinklers have been put in and new sod will be laid soon.
  • Track –  Over the past several years we have patched our track as well as watched the track begin to heave in spots.  This has been to the point where there are times it is unsafe for our runners to compete on the track.  This summer the old track was pulled up, new grading and compaction was done as well as a new sub-base and track surface applied.  This will be a complex we will be very proud of when done and a place to showcase for years to come.
  • Asbestos Removal – To prepare for the remodel of the Demoney Elementary building we needed to take up asbestos tile in 18 different rooms as well as the west hall ways.  This process will be completed by July 10 and the rooms will be back in place and ready for students by August 21.  This process includes barricading off rooms where the tile is being removed as well as a constant monitoring of air quality while the removal is taking place.  This removal is done by highly trained individuals and not by our staff members.
  • Demoney Building Project – Along with all of the other projects taking place, we continue to progress on our Building project.  The first set of classroom pods, located on the Northeast side of the building, are being prepared for the brick veneer to be put on.  The gym floor has been pour and they are working on the Southeast pod of classrooms.  All of the work is moving along as scheduled to this point.

All of these projects have made a bit of a mess on campus and without keeping the big picture in mind, it would be easy to get overwhelmed.  However, with every visitor to my office, or conversation at the ball fields, or in the grocery store these projects are met with excitement from many of you.  This excitement energizes and refocuses me on the quote “There is no progress unless you make a mess.”  So until next time, I will Embrace the Mess!

Midget Strong,

Tara Paul

Midget Strong

Midget Strong


New Bleachers in HS Gym


Old Wooden bleachers have been removed and waiting for new ones to be put in.


Wooden Bleachers being removed from HS gym


New bleachers are being prepared to be installed.


Beginning of new bleacher installation.


Subbase of track being poured.


Grading and crowning of the football field.


Asbestos Removal in Demoney.


Asbestos Removal in Demoney.


Grading and recrowning of the football field.


Asbestos Removal in Demoney.


North Pod Classrooms being prepared for brick veneer.


North Pod Classrooms being prepared for brick veneer.


North Pod Classrooms exit door being framed.


Pouring the gym floor.

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Breaking Ground

Posted: March 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

Although there has been some action taking place on the building site at Demoney Elementary, ELC held a groundbreaking ceremony this afternoon for all the students, parents, staff, and community.

Today’s groundbreaking ceremony was done to commemorate the official start of the construction of the Demoney Elementary Building and Renovation Project and is a culmination of more than a decade of hard work to realize the dreams and aspirations of the Estherville Lincoln Central Schools to become a one centralized campus school district.  This project will add approximately 35,000 square feet to the current building and will renovate approximately 25,000 square feet.  In the addition will be new classrooms, new office areas, a stand alone library​, a new front entrance to the school, and a gym for the students to enjoy.  The renovation area will also include a new cafeteria space and new collaboration areas for classrooms, students and staff.​

We are very excited about the project in general, but most importantly we are excited about the educational opportunities that it will bring to the over 600 students standing at the ceremony.  This project is truly about their education and making it the best possible experience we can.
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March 19, 2015 Update

Posted: March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

This week has been a week of transitions for ELC parents, staff, and students.  Monday morning we started off with a new traffic flow and parking regulations.  This transition went well and we were pleased that the pick up and drop off time did not take too much longer than what was normal.  We thank all of the parents and staff for their patience and their part in making this a huge success!  We know that there will be times of frustration yet to come, however, we can celebrate this as a success.

This week we also enjoyed a nice transition in our weather.  The warmer weather allowed for us to being our pre-work before the construction “officially” begins.  This warmer weather allowed for the City of Estherville’s electrical crew to begin working on site as well as the dismantle of our Preschool and Kindergarten playground through the volunteer hours of Ziegler/CAT employees and equipment.  We are extremely lucky to have great individuals that not only volunteer their time, but also who are so willing to work onsite to make this project get off to a great start.

Although this is a very exciting time, I must admit watching the dismantle of the playground caused a bit of sadness.  There are many firsts that happen in such a place as the playground.  This playground has had hundreds of students who have climbed up to come down the slide or who have sat for hours swinging during the summer months.  The site may look different now, but the memories will still remain.

Below are a few pictures from the work being done this week.

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Mr. Kalous, Elementary Principal gives the following update:

Changes Due to Demoney Building Project


Due to the new building project many changes will be taking place beginning March 16.  Please be aware that in order for this project to take place we ALL will have to adjust to the upcoming changes in the short term for the long term benefit of having all of our elementary students in one location.

Parking Changes

A parking map and explanation has been sent home with students on March 12th.  This map shows and explains what the parking will look like for the rest of the school year.  I would recommend allowing extra time as there will be a lot more traffic in a much smaller area.  Extra administration and school personnel will be helping monitor the parking and drop off areas.  These people will have school badges on, so if you have questions please ask them.

Office Changes

The office has been moved to Miss Uittenbogaard’s Room or the room you see as soon as you enter the utility entrance doors.  If you are coming into the Demoney Building please make sure you stop in the office, so that we can get you or your child directed to the correct place.

Classroom Changes

*Mrs. Kieja Evans, Elementary Student Success Coordinator and Mrs. LIsa Hansen, School Nurse are both now located in the new elementary office.

*AEA Offices, Miss Uittenbogaard’s Preschool Classroom, and Mrs. Schacherer’s Special Education Classroom have also been relocated.  If you have any questions please let Lannee, Sue, or any other staff member know and they will help get you directed where you need to go.

Kindergarten through Second Grade Student Dismissal Locations

*Kindergarten students will be dismissed through the utility entrance door.

      *First and Second Grade students will be be dismissed through the second grade doors.


The ELC Preschool Teachers will be having parents sign students in and out at the parent drop area (Please see Parking and Traffic Flow Map).  Preschool will now dismiss at 3:00.  A note from the preschool teacher will also be coming home with an explanation of changes specific to the preschool students.


In order for everything to move smoothly everyone is going to need to have a lot of patience.  I understand mid-year changes are difficult, but in order for the building project to make forward progress they need to happen.  If you have any questions, please contact me.

Mr. Shane Kalous, ELC Elementary Principal

March 11, 2015


Dear Parents and Community,

The information contained within this letter will be EFFECTIVE MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015.

THIS (click for the link) Parking and Traffic Flow Map is intended to be used as your guide for dropping off, picking up, and parking during the Demoney construction and renovation project.  If you have any questions regarding this information please be sure to contact the Elementary Office at 712.362.2181.

Traffic Flow and Parking Map:  THIS is a map showing the ELC campus.  This map and the designated pick up, drop off, and parking zones will be in effect beginning Monday, March 16. The following information is to point out changes to the normal pick up and drop off of students.

  • The bus Pick up and Drop off for ALL buildings will remain the same
  • The Demony parking lot on the east side of South 17th Street will temporarily be shut down to all parking.  This lot will become a Construction Vehicle and Equipment parking for both the Demoney project and the track project this summer.
  • The section of South 17th Street directly in front of Demoney will be in the construction zone.  For the safety of everyone the District has asked that South 17th Street, from 1st Avenue South down to 3rd Avenue South, be COMPLETELY shut down to traffic. This is to keep cars and people out of the Demoney and Bowling Alley parking lot.  If allowed by the city council flexibility will be paramount.  The approximate date of closure will be Tuesday, March 17, pending city council action.
  • The High School moped/motorcycle parking will move from the south end of the HS Staff lot to parking spaces next to the High School building in the same lot.
  • The new parent drop off and pick up lane for Demoney Students, designated in BLUE as the Demoney Parent Drop Off/Pick Up Lane, will be in the location which was previously the HS moped/motorcycle parking.  The MS moped parking is not affected.
    • This area will be a NO PARKING ZONE for all.  Parents will not be able to sit and wait in this area.
  • The current 20 minute parking along the entrance of the HS Parking lot and HS building , also shown in BLUE will become a Parent Drop Off/Pick Up Lane and a NO PARKING ZONE for all.
  • The High School main lot will be a Student and Visitor parking lot – this is where parents and grandparents may park for special events at the High School and Demoney.
  • Off street parking is also available on 1st Avenue South on both sides of the street.
  • On the south end of Demoney, 3rd Avenue South, from South 17th Street west to the end of the construction fencing, will be NO STREET PARKING.  Once you are past the construction fence (Which is currently up and runs along the playground)
  • Past the Construction fence to the West on 3rd Avenue South has also been designated as a Drop Off and Pick up Zone (NO PARKING) – Shown in BLUE on the Traffic flow and Parking Map.
  • The map which is linked above also show in PINK and ORANGE the fence that will be up around the construction site. The PINK is a 4 foot chain linked fence and the ORANGE shows a “snow fence” that will go up, for ease of moving with the construction vehicles and machinery.

We understand that these changes to drop off and loading zones as well as taking away some of the available parking is going to cause some congestion in the High School parking lot.  We ask that you plan for plenty of time when dropping off and picking up your students.  This issue is a temporary issue to a much grander project.  The Estherville PD, by city ordinance, can enforce parking on Estherville Lincoln Central Property.

For younger students please let them know where a good spot to look for you will be.  The High School dismisses at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.  Be aware of the student vehicle traffic at this time also.With all of us working together we will make this a successful transition.  Please remember to allow plenty of time to drop off and pick up your students each day and remember to look for ALL students and parents in the different parking lots.


Tara Paul

The Countdown is On

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Uncategorized
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     ELC is seven (7) days away from bid opening and there are lots of emotions going on right now, with the main one being a mixture of excitement and nervousness!!   Yesterday a Pre-Bid Conference was held at the Demoney building with any potential bidders, both as general contractors and sub-contractors.  This was not a mandatory meeting for any general contractor or sub contractor.  The purpose of a pre-bid meeting is for a contractors to come onsite and see the building and site layout.  It was also an opportunity for the architect to make mention of addendum items and for the contractors to ask questions about what has been called out in the bid documents.
     The next few days will be busy for all involved.  The architects and engineers will be busy answering the phones with questions about the bidding documents and specifications.  The school will be busy opening the building to contractors who want another look or more in-depth look in a certain area and the contractors finishing up getting all their bids pulled together for next Thursday’s bid submittal and opening.  All bids are due at 2:00 p.m. in the Central Office on January 29 (next Thursday).
     According to Iowa Code (Iowa Code §§ 26) the District is charged with finding the lowest, responsible, responsive bid.  In doing so, the actual bid opening will be just that, the District will open each bid submitted, we will read the name of the company that submitted the bid and the bid amount.  There will be no further discussion as the district will then move into it’s phase of determining responsive (is the bid ​filled out the bid correctly and not missing any parts). The District will determine the responsibility of the bidder through multiple means. Once the Responsive and Responsible measures have been looked at the District will then take all the bids that are deemed to be responsive and responsible and look at the bid price submitted to determine the lowest bid that meets the responsive and responsible thresholds.
     The hope is that between January 29 – Feb 6 the District will be able to make a determination of the Lowest, Responsive, Responsible bidder and a recommendation can be made to the ELC Board at the February 9th regular board meeting.  There will be a public hearing at 5:15 p.m. for anyone in the public to address the Board about the project, the budget, and/or the plans.​
     The next several days will be a roller coaster ride​, however I believe we have put everything into place  to make this a successful ending of stage one.  I want to thank all the members of the Building Committee for being a part in the process so far and giving their thoughts and ideas. ​ Through their efforts, conversations with staff members, the architect and engineers we will have a very nice building at the completion of this project and something we ALL can be very proud of!!

A Sneak Peak…

Posted: December 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

Just this afternoon we have received 3-D renditions of some spaces in our proposed addition/remodel of Demoney Elementary. We are more than happy to share these images with you!!


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