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School Board OKs capital expenditures

Randy Bergquist

Capital expenditures totaling $294,500 for the Osakis School District were approved for the 2019-2020 school year at the Monday, May 13 regular Osakis School Board Meeting.

The board approved funding of $41,000 to be added to the basic requests, which will add boys tennis and girls dance for the coming year.

The expenditures will be funded from nine different sources, including general, Long Term Facility Maintenance (LTFM), curriculum, technology, secondary/general, district, SPED, custodial and food services.

Biggest item on the list is a new school bus at a cost of $90,000, coming out of the general find.

Other bigger ticket items include band room carpeting at $20,000, and band room air conditioning for $4,700; cafeteria sound system for $4,692; cafeteria tables at $4,500; sealing and striping a parking lot for $15,000.

Other items include wrestling mats at $28,000; tuck-pointing at $25,000; LED light upgrades for $10,000; and a hot water heater for $18,000. These all come from the LTFM funding.

Superintendent Randy Bergquist reported that the district normally spends $150,000 to $200,000 per year on capital expenditures, but this budget is higher because of the need to replace a school bus.

Adding sports

Athletic Director Brad Hoffarth told the School Board the district has a "glaring need" for another girls winter sport, as currently the girls are only offered basketball. If a girls sport is added, a boys sport must also be added to abide by Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) regulations about equal opportunities in sports. Boys tennis had been offered in the past.

Hoffarth took a survey of 350 students in grades 7-12, and found high interest in dance and boys tennis.

Adding the two sports would not entail adding any facilities, and could be accomplished with a minimum of expenditures. The cost figures quoted are the very top estimates, based on the costs of the programs in area schools.

Paperwork for the new sports has to be completed and sent to the MSHSL in June in order to register for next year's activities, and give time to build schedules.

The question of coaches for the new sports was also discussed, but no decisions were made.

Hoffarth also asked the School Board if they have considered new bleachers for the outdoor sports facilities. Four sections of new bleachers, plus concrete bases for them, would cost about $36,000. No action was taken on this discussion. Bergquist said the bleachers could be added to the long term facility maintenance.