Meeker school board ready to make offer for superintendent

MEEKER — School board members will hold a special meeting April 23 to formally make a job offer for a new superintendent.
“We can’t make an offer until the 23rd (because of a two-week waiting period required by state law),” Superintendent Dan Evig said. “We’re just kind of on hold for now. So, that’s where we are. We can’t really start formal negotiations until the 23rd.”
The two-week waiting period is intended to give members of the public an opportunity to make comment.
“It’s a 14-day waiting period after the district names the finalist or finalists, before they can hire the person,” said Jennifer Reeve, assistant executive director for the Colorado Association of School Boards. “They can begin negotiations, but they can’t make an offer or hire the person until after the 14-day waiting period, as required by law. The purpose is to give the public time to make comments back to the district, if they choose to. They can legally identify their top choice during the 14-day waiting period, but they cannot make that person an offer.”
Last Saturday, school board members, as well as other school district and community groups, interviewed two superintendent finalists: Doug Pfau, who is the superintendent at De Beque, and William Zitterkopf of Scottsbluff, Neb., who is currently in the insurance business, but has school superintendent experience.
“It went really well,” Evig said. “We had two good interviews. Basically, all of the groups had a good chance to talk to the candidates and give feedback to the board.”
On Friday, school board members and school district personnel will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new 65,000-square-foot Meeker Elementary School. The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. at the site of the new school, east of the recreation center.
“It is very exciting,” Evig said of the building project. “(The groundbreaking) is just kind of a way to announce formally we’re moving and we’re going.”
The cost of the building project is estimated to be $18.5 million, with construction projected to take 14 months and to be completed in June 2010. Workers began excavation work at the site last week.
“We’ve added some things to it, as far as what we’re going to do with some of the technology,” Evig said of plans for the new elementary school building.
“When the bonds are sold, the terms of the bonds can generate extra money,” he added, explaining how the additional costs will be funded. Initially, the cost of the elementary school construction project was estimated at about $17.5 million.
Evig, who will retire at the end of June, plans to return for the opening of the new school.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he said. “The board has already asked (him to attend), and I will make sure that’s something I will try to do.”