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April 12, 2018 The LedgerApril 12, 2018 The Ledger

USD 448 Board Defines Scope For Athletic Improvements

Posted 11/30/2017

By Randy Fogg

The Ledger Staff

INMAN – The USD 448 Board of Education plans to ask Schwab-Eaton representatives if the district could get the needed improvements to its track and football, baseball and softball fields. The outdoor athletic facilities would all remain in their current locations and have a $5 million price tag for the work.

Board members reached a consensus to go that direction during their meeting Monday, Nov. 20, at the central office.

“I don’t know if it’s even possible,” Board President Janell Harman said. “I need to see if it’s doable.”

Harman said board members might need to plan for a special meeting if architects from Schwab-Eaton determine that the amount of work proposed can not be done with that amount of money.

Schwab-Eaton representatives had suggested the district hosts a come-and-go reception Wednesday, Dec. 13, to get input from community members on the proposed facilities.

Community members would be encouraged to voice their opinions on the project and give their ideas for ways to improve it.

Harman said the driving force for the project was replacing the track, improving the drainage around the football field and put the baseball and softball fields at regulation sizes.

“They’re at the end of their lifespans,” Harman said.

With a $5 million bond to pay for the project, Harman said the owner of a $100,000 would pay an additional $50 a year in property taxes to the school district.

Board member Jessica Schierling suggested the board should visit with the Inman City Council about the proposed project.

“There are some things coming to fruition with the city council that could tie in with this project,” Schierling said.

Harman responded, “I don’t see any reason to go to the city council without a plan.”

Board member Lisa Thimmesch said it was important for community members to know what they are receiving for the money spent.

Board member Mark Ropp said with this investment in facilities, the district should expect good results from their athletic teams.

“I’d like to see us have good facilities,” Ropp said. “We need to build winners on the athletic field like we build winners in academics.”

Board member Doug Neufeld suggested keeping the top end of the facility project at $5 million.

Board members decided to ask Superintendent Scott Friesen to talk to the architects about using ‘the same footprint” for the district’s outdoor athletic facilities and keep the improvements at a cost of $5 million.

The board took action on several other items during the meeting:

• The board approved sending a letter to parents letting them know their children must have all required immunizations by Jan. 3, or they will not be allowed to attend school. Without the immunizations, parents must complete the paperwork for medical or religious exemptions for having the required shots.

“We’ve made a lot of progress,” Friesen said. “The numbers have gone down.”

• Inman Elementary School Principal Jo McFadden told board members about plans to add more playground equipment.

The school has $7,000 to spend, including a $1,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation.

McFadden said the school was planning to get an obstacle course, which would include a rope swing and tires for the children to cross.

“I’m excited,” McFadden said. “We want to make it happen this year.”

• Board members approved a snow removal contract for district buildings with Turf Solutions.

• The board approved hiring Diana Garcia as a custodian at the elementary school and Caleb Hendricks as the head high school golf coach.

• The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18, at the central office.