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New track planned at Manawa Activity Complex

With the success the fundraising committee achieved in a short amount of time, the committee requested that the Manawa School Board approve the construction of a new track as part of the Manawa Activity Complex.

At the December 2011 Manawa School Board meeting, the board approved the construction of a new football field as part of Phase I of the Manawa Activity Complex.

The cost of that phase ranged from $300,000-$350,000. The resolution passed by the board stated that construction of Phase I could begin once 66 percent of the total cost of the project was raised.

The fundraising committee reported that it had reached that percent threshold around Feb. 1, meaning construction could begin on Phase I of the project – the football field.

With the fundraising momentum, the committee then asked the school board at its Feb. 20 meeting to approve the construction of a new track and allow the fundraising committee to continue to raise funds for that. It is the goal of the fundraising committee to raise all the money for the new track.

Corinne Zielke, clerk on the Manawa School Board, expressed concern that the 66 percent technically hadn’t been raise yet, since the pledges are over a five-year period. Her concern was that the 66 percent wasn’t actually money in hand.

David Strebe also expressed his concern about how things would be paid for since the donations are pledged over a five year period.

Jeff Bortle, athletic director at Little Wolf High School, said the added cost for a new track is $150,000, plus $25,000 to be placed in an emergency fund which wouldn’t be used unless needed.

He said that a new track could be added in the future, but if it is not built at the same time as the football field, the track would cost an additional $50,000.

“It is cheaper to do the field and track as a group,” Bortle said.

Bortle also said the Manawa School District is scheduled to host the conference track meet in 2013, but that is impossible with the current track at the school. If the district can’t host the track meet, then it would have to pay to hold the track meet someplace else.

New fundraisers were also discussed.

When it came to a vote for approving the construction of a new track, the board voted unanimously to approve the construction. Rob Karski was absent from the meeting.

With this vote and the vote in December, the Manawa School District will be getting the Manawa Activity Complex built, which will include a new football field and track.

The board also unanimously approved adding a Business Education Program and teacher for the 2012-13 school year.

It also unanimously approved the purchase of Build Your Own Curriculum software under a three year contract at a cost of $8,113.

In addition, Bortle also provided information to the school board about some students requesting to play hockey. Bortle said he is researching the possibility of working with another school district so these students can play hockey. He will report his findings to the board at a future meeting.

Bortle also said there is interest in the formation of a cheerleading club.

There were several donations brought to the board’s attention.

Sara Lee Foundation donated $1,000 to Kindergarten classes. Echo Ridge Ag Services, LLC donated $1,000 to the welding program, and an additional $1,000 to the agriculture program.

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