Will Amboy Junior High property become home to new fire station?


AMBOY – Amboy Fire Department Assistant Chief Scott Wittenauer addressed the Feb. 21 Amboy Board of Education meeting to discuss the fire department’s interest in obtaining a portion of the current junior high property for a new fire station.

Wittenauer said plans for a new fire station are in the preliminary stages but due to grant requirements, they would like to have a firm commitment on a piece of property in the coming months. “We really do want to stay in town but there just aren’t that many parcels of land this big that are not in the flood plain,” he explained.

Wittenauer noted that the fire department covers a 135-square-mile district and is one of the largest districts in the state. Although people outside of Amboy have offered land for a new fire station, the concern is the amount of time it would take to respond to a fire miles away in Amboy.

Since the fire department’s current location is in the flood plain, it is not possible for them to expand. “We cannot even put a post in the ground to put a lean-to on our building now as we’ve already been turned down by the county trying to do this,” Wittenauer said. “We are desperately in need of land for growth.”

To help visualize the layout of the fire department’s proposal, Wittenauer showed some preliminary drawings of the size and placement of the fire station and explained that the access would be onto Appleton Avenue. At one end of the approximately $2.5 million building there would be offices, restrooms, a kitchen, storage and large event room that would be available for use by the community. The larger portion of the building would be the apparatus bay, which would house vehicles. Driveways would be needed on both sides of the building and around one end.

“The building would go from the front doors of the junior high down to the parking lot on the north end. That’s what we need for this building, so if you guys want to keep part of the property, that’s fine,” Wittenauer said. “This is our dream building, the one that we want to build. We want every door in the apparatus bay have one vehicle in it. We don’t want to stack vehicles behind each other where you have to take one out to get to the other one.”

The fire department’s major grant application is due June 1 but a definite land commitment is not needed until grants are awarded in March 2020. However, Wittenauer noted that they would like to have land secured well before that so they can stop the search for property. “If we find a decent piece of land, then we don’t have to continue looking,” he said. “We’re applying for multiple grants . . . we’re trying to get any or all of the grants we can, but we’re going to need to put a building up very soon whether it’s by a grant or not.”

Board president Nicole Jones said she contacted the district’s legal advisors regarding the property but has not yet heard back from them. “When we get the legalities of it, we have to discuss it and consider any other interested buyers,” she said.

Jones also noted that the property will not be available for three years but Wittenauer said that would not be a problem since the fire department is just in the beginning stages of the process.

PRINCIPALS’ REPORTS

Amboy High SchoolPrincipal Janet Crownhart congratulated January Student of the Month Mitchell McLaughlin.

Curriculum and School Improvement

  • The Section2VetScienceandFoodScienceCDEwasheldJan.23atRochelle HighSchool.
  • Mrs.Crownhart,Mr.WissingerandMrs.ArellanoattendedthePASSconferenceon Feb. 1 at Sauk Valley CommunityCollege.
  • Mendota Ag Conference was Feb. 7 at the Mendota CivicCenter.
  • 212 Conference for FFA was held Feb. 8-9 inSchaumburg.
  • Mrs.Carlsonwas scheduled to takethreestudentstoSVCConFeb.13foramathcompetition but they canceled due to weather.

School Activities

Crownhartcongratulated the girls basketball team for their greatseason and advancing to super sectionals. She also congratulated Avery Shaw for advancing to state forwrestling.

Principal Andrew Full, Amboy Junior High

Curriculum and School Improvement

  • The Targeted School Improvement Team met with Anji Garza on Feb. 8 to get started on the “WorkPlan.” They met again on Feb. 20 to complete the plan and get it ready for board approval/submission to thestate. The team was supposed to attend TISP Training #3at SVCC, but it was cancelled due toweather.
  • On Feb. 11, teachers were given time to work on SLOs, STAR data entry, and curriculum during the SIP day. The SpecialEducation Department held a meeting at Central to discuss updates and varioustopics.

PBIS

  • The PBIS Assembly scheduled for Jan. 28 was postponed and those awards will be given at the FebruaryAssembly.

School Activities

  • Winner of the all school Spelling Bee held Feb. 8 was Austin Shugars. He represented AJHS at the County Spelling Bee in Dixon on Feb. 21 and tied for third. Full said he is one of the school’s highest achieving students. The alternate was OliviaCostner. The other AJHS Spelling Bee participants were able to travel to Dixon to watch and support Shugars and later were treated to Pizza HutBuffet.
  • The girls basketball team hosted their annual tournament on Feb. 9. The participating teams were Eastland, Serena, and AFC. Serena won the 8th and the 7th grade. Amboy’s 7th grade team received 2nd and the 8th grade team received3rd.
  • After being re-scheduled for the second time, activity pictures were taken on Feb.20.
  • Student Council sold carnations for Valentine’s Day during lunch hours.
  • On Jan. 25, Mrs. Foster, Mr. Surufka, and the 7th grade team held Foods From Around the World for the 7th gradeclass.

Principal Joyce Schamberger, Central Elementary

School Improvement

  • The Central School RtI Committee met and planned WIN times and resources for teachers to use. All students were assigned to a group based on the help they need.
  • On Feb. 11, teachers were trained on Easy CBM, a tool that will be used for bi-monthly progress monitoring in reading and in math.
  • Central School students and staff will celebrate Read Across America with various dress up days during the week of Feb. 25–March1.
  • On Feb. 25, the staff participated in a Poverty Simulationtraining.

PBIS

  • During the monthly SIP Assembly, awards were given for Students of theWeek.
  • Book-It Reading Goals for February were celebrated on Feb. 25 by playing Dr. SeussBINGO.

School Activities

  • First grade won Best Attendance for January with 95.7 percent. They earned a snack sponsored by theP.T.C.
  • On Feb. 22, the FFA Officers visited Central School andread books aloud to students.
  • Edie Peterson from the YWCA presented lessons on Body Safety to grades 1-4 on Feb. 7 and8.

OTHER BUSINESS

Amended 2018-19 calendar

Due to an unprecedented number of weather related school closings, the board approved some amendments to this year’s school calendar. A day of attendance was added on the day after Easter, April 22 and the junior high graduation date was moved to May 31. Nichols noted that high school graduation will remain on the original date.

Asbestos abatement

The board accepted the low bid of DEM Services, Inc. of Addison for asbestos abatement at Amboy Junior High School. Nichols said the abatement will be done over spring break and then they will have to determine where the leak is and make the necessary repairs.

Appreciation

Nichols thanked Al Quest, director of transportation, for his help getting the busses up and running during the recent extreme cold weather. Nichols said Quest not only comes in early to get the busses going and warmed up for the drivers but he is also out checking the road conditions very early in the morning. He also thanked the road commissioners who provide valuable information on road conditions during bad weather.

The next regular meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 at Amboy High School.

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