MARSHALL - Marshall Schools business director Bruce Lamprecht and board member Bill Mulso gave an update on the progress of the joint track and field project at old Mattke Field at the work session meeting Monday at Marshall Middle School.
"Southwest Minnesota State University is certainly interested in putting together a track and field program, getting that property redeveloped," Lamprecht said. "And, here at MPS, our track is on, really, it's last legs. It certainly is a safety concern."
On Monday morning, along with Marshall Schools Athletic Director Bruce Remme and building and grounds supervisor Warren Buchholz, Lamprecht inspected the district's current track facility.
"We walked the track and took a look to see what kind of condition it is going to be in for the start of track," Lamprecht said. "With this nice weather we've been having, March 12th could really be the start date of track and field, so we certainly do have some issues."
Unfortunately, Lamprecht said, repairs aren't getting the job done.
"We believe that we've maintained the track alright in a safe fashion, but we're getting to a point where, when we put asphalt down to repair the track, there's nothing for it to adhere to," he said. "So we definitely need to do something. To have a cooperative venture like this with SMSU, is really, a win-win situation."
Mulso, who also serves as associate vice-president for advancement and foundation at SMSU, said the pre-design process will start to answer a lot of questions, especially ones concerning layout and different options.
"From SMSU's standpoint, we've been able to secure some funding to start the renovations on the stadium, the seating portion of old Mattke," he said. "It's moving and it's kind of exciting to see how it's all working out. We'll have a lot more answers in the next month-and-a-half."
In Lamprecht's estimation, the project itself could potentially be ready completed in time for the track and field season in the spring of 2014.
"With SMSU and MPS in the same city, we don't need two football stadiums and we don't need two tracks," board chairman Jeff Chapman said. "So I'm excited about this."
Lamprecht said the district will be working on putting together a joint powers agreement, similar to what they have with the city and community services, which clarifies how the project is going to work and who is responsible for specific aspects.
"I have visited with a Minnesota Department of education representative as to how we might be able to do, in essence, a lease purchase-type funding, levy funding, which we currently have with our MECLA (Marshall East Campus Learning Alternative) operation," he said. " And because this is a curriculum area, a teaching location, we would be able to do some financing through the levy process to be able to pay for it in that respect. But we're also looking at some other avenues, too. This will certainly become part of our budget process as far as capital outlay."
The board also heard about a Kids Ride the Bus Scanning Device presentation from Michael Hagen, family business employee, and Jim Hey, co-owner of Southwest Coaches, the district's busing service, concerning the possibility of piloting iris scanning in a few of the MPS buses this spring.
"A person's irises are unique," Hagen said. "It's like taking a picture, a time-stamp, basically. The core things that are identified are who got on the bus, where they got on, where they got off and when they got off."
Parents could be sent emails or text messages when each of the events occurred and districts, allowing for more peace of mind, while districts would have greater knowledge of who is on every bus, which could be priceless in the event of an accident or situation where a child is missing.
The board also reviewed a new internet acceptable use and safety policy which was revised to reflect federal legislative changes in addition to a 2012-13 calendar modification. A previous calendar proposal did not show early dismissals every Wednesday or highlight the parent/teacher conferences.
In order to discuss negotiation strategies, the board convened to closed session.