Architect firm to assess Alva School sites for future projects


February 7, 2024

Marione Martin

As board members exited the high school Monday, they had a good view of this bench on the east side of the FFA Building placed in memory of longtime ag instructor Randy Nation. The bench was donated by Charlie Bird, one of Nation's students. It was installed in November but has been recently updated with a white background to make Nation's portrait stand out. The sign above has also been updated.

In a regular meeting Monday, the Alva Board of Education approved a contract to assess several projects on school campuses. Corbin Merz Haney Architecture and Interior Design of Enid will look at five projects that Superintendent Tim Argo described to the board.

Project A involves Lincoln, Washington and Lincoln schools. The company has already looked at structural issues at Lincoln Elementary. They will work with a contractor to assess electrical and mechanical needs at Lincoln. A construction manager will then be hired to look at costs to help the board decide whether to update Lincoln or abandon the site and add onto Washington and Longfellow Schools. The second part of Project A is to assess adding two grades each at Washington and Longfellow.

Projects B will look at improvements at Washington Early Childhood Center and Longfellow Elementary including adding classrooms. The architects will also look at adding a music room, counseling office and administrative office at each site. They will assess possible expansion of the cafeteria and gymnasium. They will also look at reconfiguring or expanding parking and drop-off locations.

Project D is for a proposal for Quinn Trust funding, which is designated for golf. Architects will assess adding an indoor practice facility and women's locker room to the current indoor facility. The space will include a golf simulator with approximately four lanes, women's locker room and storage room.

Project E will assess redesigning and reconfiguring the high school administration area to move the current high school office to the lounge area and move the superintendent's office to the current high school office location.

Board members present for the meeting were Jane McDermott, Karen Koehn, Paul Barton and Kevin Pingelton. Shane Hansen was absent.

Superintendent's Report

Supt. Argo said the schools are experiencing a large number of student absences due to flu and other respiratory illnesses. Teachers and substitute teachers have also been ill, resulting in difficulties in staffing at times.

He reported one resignation and two retirements. Efrain Barraza submitted his resignation as assistant baseball coach due to conflicts with his job at BJCC. Lincoln fifth grade teacher Annalisa Roggow will be retiring although she indicated she will be willing to work for the district as a substitute. After 24 years as a Pre-K aide, Lori VanBuskirk is retiring.

Monday was the first day of the state legislative session. Argo said more than 2,000 bills have been filed between the senate and house. Of those, 300 could impact schools.

He introduced Dr. Vickie Nighswonger, high school principal, who presented an update on the personnel section of the strategic plan. She described training for English language arts and math. Teachers are also doing a book study using "Teach Like a Pirate." Longfellow teachers meet every Tuesday across grade levels. Washington grade levels meet at different times so their principal can meet with each group. She said the school principals will be attending the March career fair at NWOSU to meet graduating teachers. See more information from her presentation on video of the meeting at

Other Action

Board members approved hiring Marque Bergner as a paraprofessional at Washington Early Childhood Center.

The $50,000 donation from Alva State Bank was approved as a supplemental appropriation so the money can be spent. The donation benefits fine arts programs which include band, vocal music and art.

A $10,000 anonymous donation to Alva High School Speech and Debate was approved. The board policy requires that donations of $10,000 or more must be approved by the board.

Two out-of-state travel requests were approved. The Alva FFA judging team will be traveling to Canyon, Texas, on March 22. Alva High School Track and Field will travel to Dodge City, Kansas, on March 28.

Extra Duty Assignments

Supt. Argo reported several changes to extra duty assignments, which were approved by the board.

Morgan Cook will receive $1,500 as assistant baseball coach for the high school.

Darian Forell will be paid $1,700 as assistant soccer coach for both girls' and boys' teams at the high


Mary Tyree, who has been working with e-sports, had her pay increased. The plan was to have two teachers at $750 each, but Tyree has been doing it all by herself so her pay will be increased to $1,500. She has been scheduling numerous e-sports playoffs each week.

Zeth Warren will be an assistant baseball coach at the high school with pay of $1,500.

Financial Reports

Looking at financial reports, Supt. Argo praised Woods County Treasurer Stephanie Spellman-Hughes for getting some "really great" interest rates on investments with local banks.

Through January, school revenue decreased $203,401.90 over last year at this time. However, expenses increased by $691,775.91. Much of the increase in expenses is due to teacher and staff pay raises.

Revenue from gross production (oil and gas) is down $578,437.29 compared to last year at this time. Motor vehicle tax is down $12,907.28 and R.E.A. tax is down $39,386.42. However, school land earnings are up $7,549.78 and county 4 mil tax is up $12,157.84.

So far this school year, starting July 1, 2023, revenue totals $7,607,052.24 while expenses total $6,037,315.74.

Argo pointed out a comparison of revenue collected from various sources compared to the Estimate of Needs (EON) which was developed by the accounting firm. For example, gross production collections for this school year are at 30 percent of EON while last year at this time it was at 92 percent. Argo said in the budget he prepared for this school year, he expected gross production to be down so used 50 percent of last year's revenue. He believes the EON used 90 percent. He also went lower than the EON percentage on motor vehicle tax and school land earnings.

Supt. Argo said the building fund has collected strongly. He also anticipates a healthy carry-over in the child nutrition fund.

He mentioned some of the larger amounts listed in the General Fund purchase order register. District printing software was purchased from CDW.G for $2,345. The district's firewall licensing from Peak Uptime cost $14,734.52.

At the beginning of school, a purchase order of $47,000 was opened for district fuel purchases but that has been spent. The school opened another purchase order of $30,000 for fuel to hopefully finish out the year.

Longfellow School purchased $1,551.85 in library books from Follett School Solutions, Inc. The school also spent $2,693.18 with K & S Tire, Inc. for two new tires for the activity bus.

From the Building Fund, the district spent $8,300 with Greydog Mechanical for replacement of an Alva Middle School HVAC unit. Access Elevator and Lifts Inc. was paid $5,000 for repairs to lifts at the high school cafeteria and high school downstairs office. Alva High School window repairs from Waller Glass Company cost about $2,000. Argo said, "The window met a basketball." It was one of the biggest windows in the building at the end of the hall. High School Assistant Principal Dave Foster told board members he could show them video of the incident.

There were two purchase orders from the gift fund. The Alva High School marching band will have a trailer for their equipment at $6,220 from Family Garden Trainers. The band will also get a band cart for percussion instruments at $239.98. These two purchases come from the Alva State Bank donation to fine arts.


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