Centreville Elementary School will have 10 new iPads this academic year, thanks to a donation from the Monsanto Fund.
The third of three donations made to St. Joseph County-based recipients took place prior to Monday’s Centreville Board of Education meeting. Angie Shotwell and Michael Ochsner, representing Monsanto’s Constantine plant, presented a ceremonial check to Superintendent Rob Kuhlman and board president Dave Peterson.
The iPads are headed to kindergarten and first-grade classrooms.
The Monsanto Fund earlier this summer bestowed similar grants to Mendon Community Schools and Three Rivers-based Riverside Health Clinic.
Voters in the Constantine Public Schools district will have two ballot measures before them later this year.
A request to renew 18 mills for general operations and a bond resolution for major improvements at Constantine Middle School will be decided in November, following action during the district’s board of education meeting this week.
Superintendent Chuck Frisbie said he stressed to board members and the public that the bond resolutions related to the proposed middle school work would not increase the district’s current millage rate.
He said the district has refinanced some of its debt and, as a result, has about $6.6 million to apply toward the proposed project. The middle school has not received any significant work in its 47-year history, Frisbie said, adding the cost of a new school would be in excess of $12 million.
The contract for Constantine Public Schools Superintendent Chuck Frisbie was extended into 2016 by district officials this week.
Frisbie, who has served five years as chief of the county’s third-largest school district, will remain on board at least through the end of the 2015-16 academic year.
District officials gave Frisbie a glowing review during Monday’s board meeting.
The 51-year-old Frisbie, a Colon native, spent more than a dozen years as an administrator in Mendon before taking the Constantine job.
His 2012-13 salary was $106,000.
Nearly 40 people played a role in helping lay more than 9,000 yards of sod over the weekend at Sweetland Stadium in Constantine.
The school district’s $100,000 allocation toward the new grass surface covered the entire portion of the stadium’s field, the installation of an in-ground watering system and dirt and seed for two practice football fields, according to Constantine athletic director Mike Messner.
Several members of the school’s varsity football team joined in the work, which started Saturday and concluded Sunday afternoon.
Though sections of the field had been replaced through the years, some of the outlying areas around its perimeter were original from when the field and stadium were created in the 1930s, Messner said.
The four remaining schools from the St. Joseph Valley League athletic conference are expected to join a newly created, 10-team league.
The Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference was announced this week during the Bronson Community Schools Board of Education meeting. The new league, which will include SJV members Centreville, Bronson, White Pigeon and Mendon, will debut in the 2014-15 academic year.
Other members will be New Buffalo and Lake Michigan Catholic from the Red Arrow Conference, and Cassopolis, Buchanan, Bridgman and Niles Brandywine from the Lakeland Conference.
The state of the SJV became jeopardized after Colon, Constantine and Schoolcraft left it in 2008.
Athletic directors from the 10 schools have agreed to split the new conference into east and west divisions.
Constantine alumnus and former football coach Dave Horn has offered to spearhead fundraising efforts to benefit upgrades at Sweetland Stadium.
Members of the district’s board of education have been presented three architectural drawings featuring various upgrades at the football, and track-and-field complex. Horn has started the push for potential improvements and the process will include feedback from the public.
Costs related to any upgrades have not been calculated and a time frame for the proposed upgrades has not yet been adopted.
District officials are expected to hear from Horn updates on the proposal at future board meetings.