Tennis court excavating begins
I-S School Board requests detailed plans
By Jane Myhra
Plans are moving ahead for building tennis courts on the Iola-Scandinavia School District’s newly acquired Krause property.
“So far (the tennis group) has only been moving rocks around,” Jeffrey Oppor told the I-S School Board during its July 13 meeting.
As chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, Oppor oversees the project.
Some board members disagreed with Oppor’s statement and said the excavating company is leveling and compacting the area.
“There are too many unanswered questions,” said board member Mike Koles. “We need a full plan of what it will look like.”
“The board needs to decide what we exactly want to do with this lot,” said Board President Kristen Hoyord.
“What if the school needs that space later for something?” an audience member asked.
Even with the tennis courts built in the upper area of the Krause property, “there will still be plenty of green space,” said District Administrator David Dyb.
“If we are going to build it, we have one chance to get it right,” said Koles.
Another audience member asked if there will be enough space to expand the parking area.
A staff member suggested that the board develop a long-range master plan for building and grounds improvements.
The board agreed to ask the tennis group to provide detailed plans, including a drainage plan, and that these plans must be approved before moving continuing with excavation.
Oppor reported that Crescent Moon Salvage, of Oshkosh, has been asked to provide estimates on anything salvageable from the house on the Krause property.
“I thought it was a good idea because they are insured and then it will be just gone,” Oppor said.
In other business, the board approved moving forward with the proposed locker room facility at Thunderbird Field and requested that plans be submitted for approval.
The estimated $150,000 project is funded by the Dylan Thorne Memorial Fund.
A review of the 2014-15 budget was presented by Business Manager Sarah Thiel.
The board had approved an $86,000 deficit for 2014-15. According to Thiel, the year will end with an estimated $66,000 deficit.
“The 2014-15 budget ended on a positive note for us,” Thiel said. “We were able to take care of some major items and still be within the approved budget deficit.”
A balanced budget is projected for 2015-16.
According to Dyb, the district will have about $160,000 less in revenue in 2015-16. This includes losing about $115,000 in state aid and about $20,000 from declining enrollment.
“We are among the 80 percent of districts that will receive less state aid in 2015-16,” said Dyb.
The proposed budget will be presented for approval at the district’s annual meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10.
The district will also ask the public for approval of increases to food service prices. The increases are required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and include a five-cent increase for breakfast and 10-cent increase for lunch.
Elementary Principal Tess Lecy-Wojcik informed the board that she will retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year.
“It will take a very talented person to do what Tess does,” said Dyb.
Wojcik’s extra duties include director of instruction, reading specialist, ESEA/Title I coordinator, effectiveness project implementation coach and district assessment coordinator.
Of her extra duties, Wojcik said the reading specialist is the most important position to fill.
Wojcik has been working part time, since fully retiring in 2011.
The board also approved the resignations of Bethany Gant, high school math instructor, middle/high school cross country coach and high school track coach; and Loni Kucksdorf, middle school language arts.
The board approved a teaching contract for Dustin Buntrock, middle/high school science.
After meeting in executive session, the board passed a motion to give a 1 percent salary increase plus $650 to the district administrator, principals, managers and directors for the 2015-16 school year.