Contract may make Re-2 `the real thing’ |

Contract may make Re-2 `the real thing’

Local school children may soon be sporting a “Coke and a smile” when they return to classes this fall.The Garfield County Re-2 School Board approved a recommendation Tuesday to enter into an exclusive five-year contract with the Coca-Cola company to provide soft drinks, water, juice and other products to the district.The district includes schools in New Castle, Silt and Rifle.This will give Coke – which won out over a similar proposal from rival Pepsi – a monopoly on quenching student’s thirsts, as well as a monopoly on name brand exposure at the district’s schools.”The premise is for the district to develop partnerships with businesses that maximize benefits to students as well as district staff,” said Ava Lanes, assistant district superintendent. How beneficial will the contract be? Lanes said she couldn’t discuss details of the financial aspect of the contract until it was closer to a final version.”But an example is that for each Coke product vended to students, a 40 percent commission will be paid back to the district,” she said. Once finalized and signed, the contract will take effect during the upcoming 2002-03 school year, said Lanes.The district currently contracts with several different companies, Coca-Cola and Pepsi among them, to provide beverages at the schools and district facilities. These companies benefit by the sales of product and by the advertising inherent in selling the products.Lanes said any Coke advertising will largely be passive, such as the sight of cans of Coke in the hands of students or the presence of Coke vending machines in cafeterias.”Coca-Cola will probably appear on the school scoreboard,” she says, “but there won’t be any banner ads or the like.”New buildings and facilities added to the district will also fall under the contract during its five-year life.The contract may also includes provisions for the funding of district employee incentives and celebrations, said Lanes.Local Coca-Cola representative Kevin Kozera declined to comment until the contract is finalized and signed.In other business, the School Board:-Discussed disaster relief procedures to follow when agencies ask to use district facilities, such as the recent use of Riverside School in New Castle as a fire base camp for the Spring Creek Fire. Board members reaffirmed that district policy would continue to be “whatever it takes.” Unrestricted use of district facilities, grounds, buildings and equipment should continue to be allowed in the future for public safety emergencies, Lanes said.-Approved an application for the Department of Local Affairs Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Grant in the amount of $283,000. If approved, the grant will be used to fund a new staff development and technology training center at the district office in Rifle. The center will also be available for use by the community, said Lanes. News on award of the grant is expected by early November.-Approved a recommendation from superintendent Gary Pack to change the second regular board meeting in August to the 20th to allow for a board workshop session with the New Castle Trustees at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Kathryn Senor Elementary.The workshop will focus on school district vision for the future and the development of mutually beneficial partnerships with cities in the district.- Discussed repair of the culvert on Rifle High School property damaged by flood water on July 18. The current plan is to remove the culvert and restore the banks to their natural state, said Craig Jay, director of maintenance for the district.- Heard an update on the ongoing evaluation of the Roy Moore Elementary School water drainage problem. An action plan to address the issue is forthcoming, said Jay.-Allowed Shaw Project Management to advertise for a construction manager and general contractor for the Rifle Middle School/Esma Lewis Elementary School refurbishment and remodeling project.The next school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 13, at the district office in Rifle.

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