Stillwater Schools spent $244K remodeling closed school, board members want answers

Updated: October 09, 2019 10:21 PM

Originally, Stillwater Area Public Schools Superintendent Denise Pontrelli told the Stillwater School Board the cost of remodeling parts of Oak Park Elementary School was $83,000, but an audit later revealed a series of purchase orders and invoices for the job totaling $244,000.

Oak Park has been closed for two years. Pontrelli was considering moving school district offices into the building, and ordered new items such as media equipment, new carpeting and desks. At the time, any expense over $100,000 required school board approval.

But, Stillwater School Board member Sarah Stivland told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there doesn't appear to be any prior board approval for the remodeling project, and the board is now trying to get answers from Pontrelli and her administration to explain why the project cost so much and why board approval was not sought.

"Right now, the record accurately reflects the total amount, but we are still asking questions," said Stivland. "We have actually been asking for quite some time and there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why it happened, but we do want to make sure it does not happen again in the future."

Repeated requests by KSTP for an interview with Stillwater Schools were denied.

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Jay Kolls

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