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November 12, 2019

10/18/2019 10:31:00 AM
Future projects discussed by Barneveld school board

While there was a good amount of information and decisions finalized at the Barneveld school board meeting last Wednesday there are still items needing more study.
Take the potential school theatre, the anticipated softball field improvements and a space for youth and possibly junior varsity football for instance. Those items took up most of the public participation portion of the meeting. Board member Tadd Owens showed a site map complete with renditions of a softball field, theatre and football area that could be moved around for different looks.
That caught the attention of softball coach Jason Gordon, athletic director Randy Gabel and some interested residents. They joined Owens at the side table to look at the map and discuss options. They came away with two thoughts.
First would be the space, where things fit the best and what needs removal, such as the dugouts that have water issues since a berm was put in that area to deflect water. Where it used to run past the dugouts the water now goes in the dugouts, creating an unacceptable situation. The space issue includes where everything can fit as well as where access and restroom facilities can best be accomplished.
The theatre project is still conceptual with Superintendent Brett Stousland mentioning it could be a large area with an open floor that could lend itself to many uses. If that is the way the board decides to go there could be bleachers installed that would have individual seats for viewing productions, etc.
The theatre is still in the "dream" stages with the decision on how to accomplish the project financially and the time frame still to be made. The board has received rave reviews for the recently completed school renovation and the theatre project is the next logical step.
When asked by a member of the audience if the board plans to go back to referendum or fund the project by donations, etc the answer was there is not a set plan.
Stousland said the same plan used for the school renovations would be used for the theatre project which would start with surveying the district residents to get their views.
Board member Tadd Owens said the theatre question is not if but when.
"It could be five, 10 or 20 years," he said. "We need to plan for it and if we do it, we want to do it right."
The football field is not needed for varsity football as Barneveld currently co-ops with nearby Mount Horeb. But with the future of Darrow Field in Mount Horeb a question mark and the cost of practice field use in that city on the high side the youth program has considered a move to Barneveld. There has been an informal offer of funding for lights for a field with the use being for youth football and a possible JV game for Fair Week festivities.
As with all athletic field projects the cost of seating and access are being considered.
In other business the board heard a report from district technology coordinator Ray Rickert on the state of the district's tech needs. He discussed the one to one tech equipment needs for the students and offered information on buy-outs and new purchases. He said this is a good time to be looking at needs as prices are better as the year ends.
"Overall we are looking good when it comes to money," he said. "We can also do a 'phase in' with the company which will help with pay-offs and new devices."
Rickert added that Apple will help some in preparing equipment they sell "to a point" which should help with getting the Ipads into the hands of the students.
He also said computers in the technology department, the business ed department and the district office are in need of replacing.
The board set the date to certify tax levy for October 30 which will be after the needed information for the final levy is received from the State.
They also approved Mock Trial as a high school activity and approved six early college credit program requests.
The board discussed the need for an additional van which could be used to transport students, etc. The van could be operated by drivers without the need for a bus license.
"We are looking at something that would handle transporting eight or nine kids," Stousland told the board, "We don't need something new, just something that is in good shape we can use for several years."
The board authorized Stousland to continue looking at options with their parameters a vehicle with under 50,000 miles, in the $20,000 price range and under five years old.
In answer to a question about where the funds would come from by board president Tami Bowser, Stousland said there is money available in Fund 10.
Softball coach Jason Gordon was not on the agenda for action but told the board he will be returning at one of their next meetings with a request for a softball trip for the girls this year. He said he is gathering information for tournaments in Tennessee, Florida and Gulf Shores with his plan to include taking this to the parents for their input. He said the team, which will be between 13 and 18 players will fund raise for the trip.
The board asked him to return at their next meeting with information.
Duane Elfering addressed the board with an update of what is going on at the village board level. He said the Vortex shooting range expansion is happening and that there are two potential developments which would provide new housing in the community being discussed. He added that there is a study underway with what involvement the village should have with Birch Lake.
Elfering also gave the board an update on the TIF district and how that would enter into the tax base.





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