School board expands bleacher project, approves salary and benefits package

Nathan Oster

In addition to being fully enclosed, featuring additional railings and adding about 100 seats, the new bleachers at the Greybull High School football field will have ADA ramps on both sides.
The Big Horn County School District No. 3 board of trustees on May 9 approved a $22,500 change order to add the second ramp.  Only one was included in the project that was put out to bid and later awarded to Fox General Construction, which came in at $398,930.
The acceptance of the change order pushed the total project cost to $421,430.
The district will tap two funding sources to pay for the bleachers, with leftover federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) money covering the first $250,000 and the rest coming from its capital reserves.
Supt. Mark Fritz said there is a use-it-or-lose-it component to the ESSER funding: What the district doesn’t spend by September of this year, it must give back.  The bleacher project will zero out that account.
For background, last year the Wyoming State Construction Department identified new bleachers as a need in a facility condition assessment conducted. The existing bleachers were graded as being at or near the end of their useful or serviceable lives.
Joe Forcella, the district’s maintenance supervisor, said the bleachers will be installed on both sides of the concession building, which will remain in place.
While the old bleachers offered more seating on the south side than in the student section to the north, the new ones will be about equal in size and much safer and easier to access, according to Forcella.
The crow’s nest will also expand with the addition of skyboxes on each side for home and visiting coaches.  Access to those will be from the bleachers, as the existing stairs to the crow’s nest will be removed.
The old bleachers were donated to the Greybull Days of ‘49 committee for use at the rodeo grounds.
Earlier this week, Forcella said some additional concrete has already been poured and that he expects the bleachers to arrive within the next couple of weeks.
The school board also approved the salary and benefits package for the 2024-25 school year.
Certified employees get step and lane adjustments, plus $650 added to their base which rose to $50,150.
Classified members get step movement and 60 cents added to their hourly wages.
An additional step was added to the certified master’s lane to Masters +45.
Longtime employees who are no longer eligible for step movement will receive longevity bonuses of $500.
And the district will again provide each employee with a $1,200 Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRS).
The approved package included no increase in retirement benefits.
It was another productive month of recruiting for the district.
At the April 9 meeting, the board approved the hiring of Holly Thomas as a high school science teacher, Patricia Anderson as high school special education/life skills teachers, Keira VanDeest as an elementary special education paraprofessional and Laura Yeoman as district school nurse.
Other business
In other April 9 business:
• The board approved the renewal of contracts for classified personnel, as recommended by Fritz.
• The board accepted and recognized a number of donations, including $200 from Security State Bank for the FFA, $200 from Freier Properties for the school lunch program, $250 from Big Horn Federal for both the boys and girls basketball programs, $200 from Big Horn Federal and the Bank of Greybull for Dr. Seuss Night, a total of $2,000 from both Greybull Building Center and A.W. Hunt Construction for the Greybull basketball summer programs, and $3,172 from the Greybull Elks Lodge for the elementary after school program.