In response to phone calls, text messages, and emails from a media contact, the Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal - Sean Lindgren and Deputy State Fire Marshal - Todd Brehm conducted a Fire and Life Safety inspection of our educational facilities. During this inspection, they uncovered several Life Safety Code and Fire Code deficiencies. Some of the major deficiencies included the lack of fire barrier separation for stairways, the lack of fire barrier separation of hazardous areas, lack of proper rescue windows in classrooms where required, inadequate fire alarm devices, improper electrical wiring uses, and lack of means of egress signage and emergency lighting. These violations would need to include installation of fire sprinkler systems in the 7-12 building as well as the entire elementary school.
The work of correcting many of the smaller issues has already been completed. There are several items that will require the district to spend significant dollars to correct. A plan of correction will be provided as directed by the Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal. The board did pass a resolution on February 12, 2018 to bring the $9.5 million bond to public vote at the May primaries. If the bond passes, most all of the larger Life Safety Code violations would be addressed.
We have had several calls from concerned parents about taking learning materials, student artwork and other student projects off the walls in the Elementary. Paragraph 10.2.5.3 of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®, limits bulletin boards, posters, and paper attached directly to the walls to not more than 20 percent of the wall area. Teachers have been working hard at complying with this Life Safety Code, and unfortunately this is why students art work and teacher decorations have been removed.
There are several things that will need to be done prior to starting school in 2018-2019. The school board has not had a lot of time to discuss options or formulate a plan. It will be extremely difficult to hold school in the current elementary building in its existing condition. The report specifically states “Student occupancy shall not be approved in the lower level classrooms for the 2018-2019 school year if the existing conditions remain.” The board will be working diligently over the next couple of months to formulate a plan of action to address these needs.
On Sunday, January 28th the Newman Grove Board of Education held a community meeting to discuss future facility needs and get input on an upcoming bond election.
If you were unable to make the meeting, we have attached the PowerPoint from that meeting. Community Members are encourage to contact Superintendent, Mikal Shalikow at 402.447.6294 or mikal.shalikow@