(Posted March 14, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Jonathan Alder school board passed two resolutions on March 11 showing their support of the plan to install synthetic turf at the football stadium. One is an agreement to accept donations to cover the cost of the project. The other names LeVan’s Excavating Inc. and Astroturf Inc. as the preferred vendors.
The votes allow the school district to get on the construction schedule for this spring. The tentative start date is May 20 with completion slated in time for fall sports teams to use the facility.
The estimated cost of the project is $581,000, which doesn’t reflect adjustments for in-kind donations. The Athletic Boosters and the Alder Field Turf subcommittee have raised $550,000 in donations and pledges.
The Boosters and subcommittee will collect on many of the pledges over the next few weeks and report back to the board on their progress prior to the board’s next regular meeting on April 8. The district will need to cover any difference on up-front costs while the Boosters continue to collect the remainder of the money to pay back the district. Superintendent Gary Chapman said the board will need to decide what amount of money they are comfortable with putting up.
While the Athletic Boosters are covering the cost of the project, the contract must meet district approval. The approved agreement allows district leaders to look over the contract and present a final version to the vendors.
Chapman and the board commended the Boosters and subcommittee, and specifically Rayce Robinson, Joel Maynard and Tricia Kidd, for their work on the fundraising campaign over the past couple of years.
“That total dollar amount they have in donations is incredible,” Chapman said.
Planning for growth
Chapman updated the board on the district’s recent strategic planning committee meeting. The group is looking at ways the district can prepare for the increase in student population that will come with the addition of hundreds of new housing units in the area over the next several years.
The committee set three priorities:
- Community conversations–“We need to get out and tell our story now,” Chapman said. The idea is to inform the community that growth is coming and talk about the challenges and opportunities it presents. Chapman said the district is thinking about partnering with village and township representatives to put on a series of community engagement meetings starting this fall.
- Property exploration–It is somewhat difficult to predict where the growth will happen in the district, but school leaders need to be looking into possibilities for acquiring more property, Chapman said.
- Enrollment projection study–The district’s last study took place four years ago.
The next Jonathan Alder school board meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. April 8 at Monroe Elementary.