District 118 school board members approved a request Wednesday from a group to use Danville High School’s facilities for a week during the summer of 2014.
Group Workcamps Foundation, a Colorado-based ministry founded in 1977 that does charitable work around the globe, plans to bring about 400 teens and their chaperones to Danville between June and August of 2014 to donate one week of free labor to repair 50-65 homes.
During the work camp ministry, high school-age youths from across the country pay for the privilege to come to a community for a week and assist with repairing homes for senior, low-income and disabled homeowners.
Danville’s First Presbyterian Church is the local sponsor of the work camp group and will select the homes that need work with the help of local organizations such as Love INC and The Salvation Army.
The Rev. Jimmy Hopper of First Presbyterian Church said he has attended work camps the last four summers in North Carolina and Minnesota, with the closest one being in Mount Vernon, Ill.
“It’s across denominational lines and across state lines,” he said of the group’s work.
Hopper said the group’s payback to a community amounts to about $500,000 in labor hours, supply purchases and other purchases, such as food.
Bob Turley, manager of Group Workcamps Foundation, told the board that local schools have provided the best lodging for their teens, many of whom are involved in church youth groups.
The teens would sleep on the floor at the high school in their own sleeping bags, shower in the locker rooms and eat breakfast and dinner in the cafeteria.
“We will pay for the utilities, cleaning supplies, custodians and cooks,” Turley said.
Also on Wednesday, school board members:
- Recognized Rachel Brown, math teacher in Danville High School’s GLOBAL House for renewing her National Board Certificate; South View Middle School seventh-grader Amy Mitchell for being one of the winners of the local Bradford Chapter’s Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest; and South View eighth-grader Christopher Adkins for receiving a certificate of excellence and a president’s volunteer service award in the 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
- Approved an evaluation instrument for non-certified custodians and food service staff. The evaluation instrument includes the definitions of the four ratings: excellent, proficient, needs improvement and unsatisfactory.
- Approved setting the date for the 2013 DHS graduation for 3 p.m. June 2 at the David S. Palmer Arena.
- Awarded a contract to First Student to provide transportation to District 118’s students for the next three years.
First Student was the lowest of four bidders at $2.919 million for the first year of service, with a 3.5 percent increase in the second and third years of the contract.
The bid was 13 percent, or $331,000, higher than this year’s transportation cost of $2.58 million.
- Approved by a 5-1 vote the purchase of a vacant lot at 707 N. Hazel St. from the City of Danville for $7,500. The lot is located in the middle of where the city plans to create a green parking lot for the high school. Board member Gina McGuire cast the dissenting vote.
- Approved the purchase of a portable press box for the DHS track complex from Aluminum Athletic Equipment Co. of Royersford, Pa., for $13,495. A DHS graduate anonymously donated “many thousands of dollars” to pay for the portable press box and other improvements at DHS’ athletic facilities, Superintendent Mark Denman told the board.
The portable press box is $20,000 less than a permanent structure, plus “we can move it and use it in other places,” said Ron Henton, director of buildings and grounds.
District 118 school board members will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 13 in the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St.