By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Five Little Falls School Board members (Jay Spillum was not present) voted to permit the Little Falls Youth Hockey Association to use the high school tennis courts for a portable hockey arena.
The Little Falls Community High School (LFCHS) tennis courts are in such disrepair, they are unable to be used for competition purposes. While practice is still scheduled on the high school courts, competition is played on the courts at the Little Falls Community Middle School.
“I am not willing to spend the $250,000 it would cost to repair the courts at the high school,” said Little Falls School Board Member Brad Laager at the Monday night meeting.
Tom McQuillan from the Little Falls Youth Hockey Association told the Board his group is willing to rent the tennis court area, next to the Exchange Arena for $2,500 annually.
The Youth Hockey Association is proposing to modify the net posts so they may be removed during hockey season and repairing the lighting around the courts. It would install a large, locking gate to accommodate the Zamboni plus a locking gate for player access.
The cracks in the tennis court surface will be repaired and a heavy-duty hockey liner from Blue Lake Plastics will be laid to protect the tennis court surfaces.
Portable hockey boards will be erected and netting installed as required to keep pucks in the arena.
“The rent from the Hockey Association will help pay for the repairs ($30,000) to the middle school courts,” said Laager. “This is the best use of our facilities.”
The ice arena will be available for open skating and school activities such as broomball.
“We (the Youth Hockey players) have to cram a lot of ice time into a short period (using only the Exchange Arena). This gives us more ice time,” said McQuillan. “We will post practice schedules so people know when there is open ice time.”
Little Falls School Board briefs
Other business conducted by the Little Falls School Board Monday night included:
• Voting to temporarily add 1.5 elementary teachers for the Title I program for the remainder of the school year with money carried over from the Title I fund. The positions will be reviewed in the spring, along with Title I funding, regarding continuation or additional staffing changes;
• Learning the city of Randall said, “No problem,” to reducing the speed limit to 20 miles per hour on Minnesota Avenue which runs along the front of Dr. S.G. Knight Elementary School;
• Approving the 2011-12 and 2012-15 confidential employees contracts;
• Passing a resolution to apply for a grant from the Minnesota State High School League to offset the costs of student activities fees and to help with the annual activities banquet. Activities Director Aaron Sinclair said the money available is split by the schools who apply and usually comes to an amount between $1,000 and $2,000;
• Voting to allow the annual District Fitness Challenge to spend $3,200 for gifts and prizes for four separate challenges, along with $1,000 for snacks. The money will come from the tobacco settlement which currently has a $40,000 balance;
• Approving the agreement with St. Francis for the district’s rental of classroom space for the CEC program and the use of the St. Francis Health and recreation Center gymnasium. The cost for the 2012-13 school year comes to $2,700 which did not increase from last year;
• Voting to sign the Assurance of Compliance with State and Federal Law Prohibiting Discrimination form;
• Voting to hire Kaia Flom as an ECFE teacher both Debra Yliniemi-Ahlin and Sally Heier as varsity co-head softball coaches and both Jean Repulski and Cindy Tenney as Early Childhood Family Education paraprofessionals;
• Accepting the resignations of Scott Endres as a teacher of students with learning disabilities at Lincoln Elementary School; Sarah Mueller as a cleaner at the high school, Jean Repulski as a transportation aide; and Victoria Wendland as a cook’s assistant at Lincoln Elementary School; and
• Accepting donations from Joyce Locks ($100) for the scholarship fund; city of Little Falls ($28,000) to the Youth Recreation Program; Kemps “Nickels for Schools” ($92.95) to the Little Falls Community Middle School (LFCMS); Ride against Cancer ($8,000) to the scholarship fund; Zion Lutheran Women ($65) to Lincoln and Lindbergh elementary schools for the social work fund; Tractor Supply Company ($2,000 worth of hand tools) to the industrial technology department and Target “Take Charge of Education” ($81.65) to the LFCMS.
The next School Board meeting will be held at the Morrison County Government Center Monday, Nov. 19, at 5:30 p.m.