The Grand Island School Board on Monday approved contracts for the interim superintendent and a consulting firm that will assist in the search for a replacement for Superintendent Robert W. Christmann, who officially retired Monday.
Christmann, however, is continuing as interim superintendent on a part-time basis until his replacement or a new interim is hired.
He will be paid $325 for a half-day. The contract has no set hours or schedule, but Christmann said he will be available “as needed.” The contract contains a 30-day notice of cancellation by either party.
The vote on both measures was unanimous at the meeting in the Eco Island Nature Center on Staley Road.
Christmann, superintendent since February 2007, has started a new job as executive director of the Western New York Education Service Council. It offers several services, including consultants for superintendent searches, board-superintendent workshops, merger studies, school facilities and staffing analysis.
He had been secretary of the council’s board of directors, which is headed by Jeffrey Rabey, superintendent of the Depew School District.
Christmann, who also spent 17 years as superintendent of the Newark Central School District near Rochester, is immediate past president of the New York State Council of School Superintendents.
The Grand Island district will pay the University of Rochester Warner Center $16,000 for its work in the superintendent search process.
The board held an executive session with the consultants Tuesday evening to work out details of a contract for a new superintendent and scheduling of interviews for applicants. Community representatives also will be part of the search process, said David Goris, board president.
According to its website, the three former school superintendents who make up the Warner Center’s search team have together hired hundreds of school professionals.
In other business, the board heard a report from Joseph Giarrizzo, district finance director, on both the $51 million capital project and the proposed $6.4 million new transportation center.
He recommended that the board schedule a capital project workshop by early November with Campus Construction and Management, project managers, and Cannon Design, architects, to discuss scheduling work on the nearly three-year project. It was noted – contrary to some reports circulating in the community – that work on the athletic fields would start in the spring, with the new football field ready for play by fall 2013.
Giarrizzo said the environmental impact study on the transportation site behind Sidway Elementary School on Baseline Road is under way, with completion expected by late October. This would allow for scheduling the public referendum on the transportation center project for Dec. 18.
That vote would be on the center and on adding $281,000 to an $850,000 reserve fund for the project. Giarrizzo said the addition to the reserve would mean the project would be “tax neutral,” meaning the project would add nothing to the school tax rate.