Tabor, USD 410 hash out details as construction nears completion

tabor-stadium---panorama.jpg
tabor-stadium---panorama.jpg

Tabor College photo

A panorama view of Joel Wiens stadium posted to the Tabor College Flickr photostream (www.flickr.com/photos/taborcollege) on Aug. 21 shows the completed artificial turf field and parts of the track still under construction. Progress has been rapid in recent weeks, with the raising of the press box among the obvious additions. With the stadium on the verge of hosting its first games, representatives from the college and from USD 410 are fleshing out the details of the plan put in place to keep the facility in top form over the course of their 40-year partnership.

With the completion of their joint stadium project practically at hand, representatives of Tabor College and USD 410 have formed a four-membered Operations Management Committee tasked with working out detailed plans to keep the new facility humming for the next forty years.

The committee is a requirement of the original Interlocal Cooperative Agreement and consists of two representatives from each institution: Jerry Hinerman and Robert Rempel represent the district, and David Kroeker and Kirby Fadenrecht represent the college.

One of their primary tasks is to quantify ?proportionate usage? in order to determine how costs should be shared. Fadenrecht said that costs will be split 50-50 in the first year ?since deriving proportionate usage would be difficult to predict and may be very difficult to actually track.?

Based on Hinerman?s calculations of expected replacement costs, Fadenrecht said an investment of $95,000 per year is necessary to ensure funds will be available to resurface the track and field and replace other equipment at the end of each item?s useful lifetime.

?Each entity has committed to put away $47,500 per year over the next 40 years and to then draw from those funds to purchase the replacements when they come due,? Fadenrecht said. ?This, of course, is an art not a science. As an example, the artificial turf is projected to wear out in 10 years. The replacement cost including a modest inflation factor is projected to cost about $540,000 at that time. Hopefully, when the 10 years expire, the condition of the turf will allow for a few more years of wear before being replaced. But in any case, there should be funds committed and on hand by both entities to pay for the replacement.?

The first year installment is being deferred until next year, with the partners agreeing to fund somewhere between $37,000 and $40,000 of equipment such as pole vault mats, high jump mats, track protection mats, carrier racks for the starting blocks and other similar non-construction expenses.

In addition to the replacement budget, the committee has anticipated approximately $55,000 in maintenance, set-ups, utilities, and supplies such as paper towels, trash bags and light bulbs.

Fadenrecht said ?The projection includes the ?equivalent? cost of a full-time person's wages and benefits? to be hired on to the college?s maintenance staff.

The committee will also consider policies to govern use of the facility by community members.

?The committee has not focused on this topic at this point,? Fadenrecht said. ?The committee and the two entities are assuming that the public will continue to have access to the running track as it did in the past. Whether there will be a schedule posted for that access is not known.?

Security and possibile misuse of the facility are concerns, he said. ?For example, the track surface must be protected from any unauthorized equipment, i.e., vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, roller skates/blades/other, sharp objects, etc. But while trying to protect from such misuse, there is still a desire to keep the track accessible for walkers and runners at no charge. Whether it can be 24/7 access is yet to be determined.?

For outside groups wishing to conduct organized activities at the facility, a rental fee will be required.

?No schedule of fees has yet been established but will become a topic for the committee in the coming meetings this fall,? Fadenrecht said.

?Priority of usage will be granted to the district and the college and set practice and game/contest schedules will reserve usage for much of a 10-11 month period. How other outside use might be scheduled during those months will be addressed as encountered, and policies will probably result from those experiences.?

The committee is also considering how best to make the a ?view-only? calendar available to the public?perhaps through the USD 410 web site.

?The goal is to cooperate, to consider the facility and even athletic program equipment that pertains to the activities that take place at the facility, to be jointly owned, whether previously owned by one or the other entity, or whether purchased new for future joint use,? Fadenrecht said. ?I think this is an important concept because it sets the tone for full cooperation. The goal is to avoid any former perception of an ?us and them? mentality and to work together as one.?

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