By Faith Ann Brown


VINTON – Progress is being made on different projects. That was the news shared during Monday evening’s meeting of the Vinton Shellsburg Community school board.

Members of the school board along with representatives from the City of Vinton met at the end of September regarding the district’s move to solar.

Kyle Koeppen, district superintendent, shared that four companies presented their expertise and experience to the committee. “The solar committee narrowed down the list to two companies and I conducted references check and follow up phone calls with both companies,” he said.

The companies, both located in Iowa, were willing to do some initial design work for the district without contract costs.

There has been discussions for a number of years about the district going solar and installing panels at the high school. Board members Tom Burke, Jake Fish and Rob Levis each represent the district on the solar committee, which has members of the Vinton Municipal Electric Utility board as well.

The two firms, one located in Ankeny and the other in North Liberty, will have plans to share at the board’s November meeting.

In other business:

-While the past month’s expenditures showed some bills related to derecho damage, Koeppen told the board that more would be appearing in the future.

“You saw about $100,000 in damages from the storm in regard to damage to lights and fences” he said. “But there is just the beginning. We are still waiting for approval for the big items.” The district will need to get bids for the work to be done on the building roofs within the district. There have been patches put on the buildings, “but we have roofs that will need to be replaced,” Koeppen told the board.

-The traffic pattern at Tilford will be getting a different look. Koeppen explained the east driveway at the building would be closed beginning Monday, October 19 until the end of the month. The work will be on the driveway so buses will be able to go around the building as a way to alleviate some of the traffic issues that occur at the end of the school day.

“This work will not include the back parking lot,” Koeppen said. “This is just for the east driveway.” The project will include some tiling to help move the water that runs off the circle building.

-Koeppen told the board that progress continues to be made at the district’s new bus barn located on W 3rd Street. “The shell of the building is constructed,” Koeppen said Monday night. “They were working on trusses on that windy day last week and got that completed.” The next step is to get the building enclosed before it gets too cold, so work can then continue on the inside.

-With the pandemic and social distancing, Koeppen shared that the district will not be able to hold the Veteran’s Day program like it has in the past.

However, preparations are underway to recognize veterans and active service members in the district. “I have been able to meet with the high school student council and they have shared their ideas for the event,” Koeppen told the board.