The decision Monday evening to list the former District 8 schoolhouse for sale disappointed the rural McCook couple who submitted the high bid at the property auction last Friday.
Following a 50-minute closed session called during the board's monthly meeting to discuss personnel and the sale of District 8 property, board members voted 4-2 to reject all bids for the property and list it for sale with a real estate agent. The motion was offered by Diane Lyons, seconded by Scott Johnson and approved by Tom Bredvick, Shane Messersmith, Johnson and Lyons. Larry Shields and Maury Green voted "no."
The decision to reject all bids disappointed Kim and Jay Schilling, who offered the highest bid of $48,000 for the property at the real estate auction Friday morning. Jay Schilling told board members there was no mention of a reserve or minimum bid in either pre-sale advertising or at the auction.
At a point during the auction where the Schillings' bid was not challenged, and after several recesses, a conference among the auctioneer Johnny Walker, real estate agent Randy Bauer of Gateway Realty and Superintendent Grant Norgaard, and another couple minutes to allow increased bids, Schilling said, he and his wife made the required 10 percent deposit and signed a purchase agreement.
Schilling said, "It was an auction. There was no reserve or minimum bid advertised. We should own the real estate." He continued, "We realize you believe it's very undervalued. But you've got a very expensive building on one landlocked acre."
Schilling said he and his wife feel it was "not quite right or ethical" that their bid was rejected. "We've just set a bid that other people have to be above," he said.
Kim Schilling said, "If there truly was a reserve, it should have been advertised."
Norgaard admitted that perhaps a minimum wasn't advertised well enough, but that final approval of the board was mentioned in some listing paperwork available at the auction and by auctioneer Johnny Walker before the auction started. Walker said the sale was not advertised as an "absolute auction," which would have meant that the property would have been sold to the highest bidder regardless of the amount of the winning bid.
The motion authorized Norgaard to list the property for sale.
By officially "adopting" the TeamMates mentoring program, the McCook Public Schools board of education could help enhance offerings to children enrolled in the program.
Lynse Schmidt, director of the TeamMates program in McCook, told school board members that making TeamMates a school-sanctioned program would allow the organization to funnel its grant money into the schools' activity fund. A $30,000-36,000 grant would pay the director's salary and for background checks, off-campus celebratory activities for mentees (which are not allowed now) and a four-day staff development session this summer, she said.
All new TeamMates programs must be adopted by a school district, regional TeamMates director Annette Woodhead of North Platte told board members.
Superintendent Grant Norgaard said TeamMates is a benefit for the school and the community. "The schools' goal," he said, "is to provide opportunities for mentors and mentees to bond."
Schmidt told board members that the TeamMates program is growing in McCook, and that she enrolled 23 new mentors during "National Mentoring Month" in January. That doubled the number of mentors available for match with students, she said.
A TeamMates goal, she said, is to adopt St. Patrick's Elementary School and offer mentoring to its students.
The MPS board tabled any action on Schmidt's request until the March 8 meeting, which still allows time to meet a March 31 deadline.
The school board accepted the resignation and retirement of Eileen Young, family and consumer science instructor at McCook Senior High. Young wrote in her resignation letter that she was hired three years ago to enhance FCS instruction and that enrollment has tripled since then
The board accepted Young's resignation, with gratitude for her time and dedication.