USD 410 board reviews building plans for stadium and MCSEC

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ALEEN RATZLAFF
Unified School District 410 board members spent much of Monday’s meeting discussing needs and options to improve facilities for the district as well as Marion County Special Education Cooperative.

“It’s a long way from the final plans…but (some ideas) are beginning to take shape,” said Superintendent Gordon Mohn after reviewing architectural drawings for the athletic facility project shared jointly with Tabor College.

A task force that includes representatives from parties has been meeting to assess needs and ways to meet them.

Mohn reviewed two plans with projected costs ranging between $4.1 million and $6.4 million. Factors such as a grass or artificial turf field, the number of seats, and gravel or concrete parking lots account for the cost variance.

Mohn said he’d know more about the timeline for the project after meeting with the architects next week.

Mohn expressed concern about whether groundwork with stakeholders can be completed in time for a bond election in April.

“I’d rather think about a special election a month or two later,” he said.

Mohn and board member Debbie Geis, who represents USD 410 on the MCSEC board, also reported facility needs for the special ed cooperative.

Mohn said a decision will need to be made whether it’s wiser to spend $800,000 to improve the facility in Florence or spend twice that amount to build a new facility that is more centrally located and better meets the needs of the students.

Included in the board’s agenda was a possible floor plan prepared by architect Kelly McMurphy, a consultant hired by the MCSEC board.

In a letter written to Marion County local school boards and superintendents, MCSEC director Chris Cezar asked that all local boards meet together in January to discuss cooperative facility issues.

Board president Rod Koons suggested that scheduling the joint meeting take priority over the district’s regular meeting that month.

Mohn also solicited input from the board regarding issues that merited attention for the state of the district report. Board members raised such issues as declining enrollment, No Child Left Behind and ways to encourage community access to district assets.

In other business, the board:

approved issuing employment contracts to Mike Moran as coordinator, Debbie Allen as educator and Tabor student John Gramza as a staff assistant for the After-School Program at Hillsboro Elementary School.

approved disposing the house on the property of 109 N. Adams via a public auction.

approved the 2005-06 audit report from Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, presented by Donna Fadenrecht.

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