OSKALOOSA — After stripping away a layer of rubber from the community stadium track, it turns out the asphalt below was not in as bad shape as feared.

Oskaloosa Community School District Board of Director member Kraig Van Hulzen said he, Bill Almond and Ryan Parker met with a representative from Midwest Track.

There are three places that need repair, Van Hulzen said, along with six areas in need of transition work.

“What that means on the south end of the stadium, there is a concrete pad that has been poured. So they have to gradually, somehow get up to that level and make sure it tapers off,” he said. “So that’s the transition areas. It won’d be real noticeable when you’re running but it’s something they had to do.”

Additionally, there are several areas where some grinding needs to be done, as well as some leveling.

“They thought the track overall is in pretty good shape,” Van Hulzen said, “and after they were going to be able to do all that stuff, they thought we shouldn’t have any problem putting the rubber coat over the top and I believe he said we’d still have a five year guarantee.”

Almond, who is director of Operations for the school district, said the track will not be a competition track because of the transitions.

“So I want everyone to know it will be a nice surface, you can practice on it,” he said, “but it will have little imperfections on it here and there.”

Oskaloosa Community School District Superintendent Paula Wright said it has not been the intent to use the track for competitions.

“The intent was always to have the competitions out at the Lacey field. This was intended for middle school practice field or high school could practice there as well. But it was intended for community and practice,” she said. “We weren’t ever planning to hold meets there.”

Homecoming activities will still be held at the community stadium.

The board approved repair of the track.

Early Childhood Education and Recreation Facility

School board member Carl Drost gave a report on the progress of the Early Childhood Education and Recreation Facility.

Architect firm SVPA will be presenting schematic designs to the Oskaloosa City Council at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16.

The challenge with the project, Drost said, has been trying to plan for a facility that meets the needs of the school district as well as the community and will be something that will be used for many years in the future.

The school district has committed $7.5 million to the project and not a cent more, Drost said. The scope of the project has grown somewhat, however, from a 60,000 square foot facility – an approximately $19 million project – to an 88,000 square foot facility at $29 million.

“We we were told at a recent meeting that we might need to raise $2 million out of the community,” Drost said, “but the other money has been raised, is lined up.”

The project will not raise taxes at all, Drost said.

“It will be off the 1 cent sales tax,” he said. “And the city’s part is also sales tax.”

The size has increased to reflect larger classroom sizes. Drost said the bare minimum requirement for classrooms was 700 square feet; the facility will have 800 square foot classrooms.

“I wanted to make sure that you knew that the three of us have been working hard to make certain that we were covered with our 28E agreement,” Drost said, “and we were getting in it what was required.”

Drost said he was enthused about the project.

“When we get his built it’s going to be something this community can really be proud of. It’s not only going to provide better education for our young people, it’s going to provide us with a swimming program, it’s going to provide a community indoor rec facility, and I know that it will be easier to bring employees to town, it will be a lot easier to retain them,” he said. “So it’s a great project for the community.”

Other board business

• The board approved promotion of the student trip to Europe in 2021. Teachers said the trip will be the same that was taken this year to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

• The final reading of revised board policies 507-508 was approved.

• The board approved the superintendent’s 2019-2020 priorities and goals.

Managing Editor Angie Holland can be reached at aholland@oskyherald.com and followed on Twitter @OskyAngie.

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