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At their regular meeting Monday, October 14, the Mount Ayr Community Schools board of education set a public hearing on a proposed project to renovate lighting at the athletic complex.
The hearing is scheduled for Monday, 5:30 p.m. in the board room.
With an estimated cost of just over $700,000, the project calls for the replacement of existing field lighting at the football, baseball, and softball fields with Musco lighting.
Musco, out of Oskaloosa, provides lighting for several professional sporting venues, including the Olympics.
The project will be presented in detail at the hearing.
In presenting the need for the upgraded lighting, district superintendent Joe Drake presented a chart comparing lighting recommendations from the Iowa High School Athletic Association to the existing lighting at the fields.
Measured in foot-candles, the comparison shows:
BB Inf 50 19.6
BB Outf 30 19.7
SB Inf 50 24.4
SB Outf 30 20.8
Football 30-40 19.9
Track 20 1.3-8
Drake reported the district could afford the cost of the project without having to borrow money.
He cited revenue generated from the regular and voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levies and the capital projects fund would cover most of the cost.
Mike Kemery has offered his company’s services to drill the holes and pour the footings for new poles at the football field, a saving of approximately $60,000-$70,000.
Larry and Rita Hunter have pledged another $50,000 for use at the district’s discretion.
In addition, district grant writer Jodie Geist is exploring various grant opportunities that could go toward the project.
The capital projects fund derives its revenue from “SAVE” (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education) dollars, formerly known as Local Option Sales and Services Tax.
The Iowa legislature now requires that districts must address building security before “SAVE” funds can be used for other purposes, including athletic facility upgrades.
Following the public hearing, the district must pass a resolution stating its buildings are secure before proceeding to use SAVE funds for the lighting project.
In other business the board:
• approved a 10-day contract with Beverly Brown as a certified librarian.
• accepted the resignation of Brandie Ruggles as middle school volleyball coach.
• approved an early graduation request from Branden Handy.
• learned Mount Ayr will host the District Individual Speech contest Ssturday, February 29. Over 300 area students will compete in the all-day event.
• received results from the FAST fall reading scores for Mount Ayr elementary students. Principal Chris Elwood shared a report that 64 percent of MAC elementary students were proficient in reading fluency (speed) and 70 percent were proficient in a variety of other reading skills such as phonics, vocabulary and comprehension. Those scores will serve as the baseline for future test results to show growth in reading proficiency.
• heard a request from district patron Tony Mercer to allow his three-year-old son to ride the school bus to the Family Resource Center.
• approved the list of member for the District Study Committee: Stacey Andresen, Chelsea Armstrong, Tracy Barnes, Tara Brown, Amanda Cannon, Joe Drake, Abby Elliott, Chris Elwood, Eric Friedrich, Jody Greene, Bill Huntington, Diana Huntington, Billi Larsen, Kim Lutrick, Wiley Main, Gracie Mobley (student representative), Sarah Newton, Tracy Nickell, Cassie Noble, Kris Quick, Suzi Schaefer, Amanda Waske, Missy Walter and P.J. West.
• learned the district is in excellent shape based upon the Five Indicators of Financial Health as presented by superintendent Drake.