- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

NELIGH, Neb. (AP) - The Neligh-Oakdale school district this year will have new leadership to identify solutions to old safety concerns at the East Ward school.

The interconnected buildings house grades three through 12 and the central office.

Officials have said the $6.9 million bond measure that voters rejected in November leaves the district without enough money to resolve security and fire safety issues. The district was able to obtain a two-month delay for a fire safety plan that was supposed to be sent to the state fire marshal last month.

Two write-in candidates defeated two school board members who were up for re-election in November, and district Superintendent Kim Lingenfelter is resigning at the end of the school year. The new board will decide what the district can afford.

Lingenfelter told the Norfolk Daily News (https://bit.ly/1Igol86 ) that she will follow the school board’s direction regarding the identified fire safety code violations.

Window exits may be added in some basement classrooms, but school board President Carrie Pitzer said it would make more sense in the long run to add sprinklers so that special exits wouldn’t be required. Lingenfelter agreed, but noted that sprinklers would be expensive to install, given the way the school has been expanded in several levels. Parts of the building are from the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s.

Security concerns center on the central office, which is in the middle section of the second floor. Visitors are buzzed in from several entrances, giving them ample opportunities to roam the school before reaching the office. The bond issue plan called for locating the office in the main entrance.

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Information from: Norfolk Daily News, https://www.norfolkdailynews.com

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