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Emmetsburg School Board Considers New Bleachers And Storage Building

By Staff | Nov 29, 2011

School facilities were one of several items discussed by members of the Emmetsburg Community Schools Board of Education during their regular meeting on Nov. 21.

Superintendent John Joynt shared that the district has new procedures for dealing with the traffic flow in front of the high school/middle school building.

“It think it’s helped the congestion quite a bit,” said Joynt. “I will propose that a sidewalk be constructed on the east side of the front drive for kids to stand on. I know a lot of you were concerned about costs in excess of $200,000 to redo the entire front drive, and I think adding a sidewalk and some driveway replacement-a piece at a time-next summer would be the way to go.”

Joynt also noted that he would like the school board to consider new bleachers in the high school gymnasium. The current bleachers have been in place since 1967.

“I had one estimate of $95,000 for new bleachers. We could do it half one and half the next, so it could be a little cheaper,” Joynt explained. “If we’re not going to do the $200,000 front driveway, I think we’ll have money to do the bleachers all at once.”

“Are you talking brand new home bleachers, John?” asked Rick Brennan.

“Yes, in the big gym on both sides. I talked to one vendor at the school board convention in Des Moines, who put the bleachers in that we have in the middle school gym. Because of the way the new bleachers are designed, there will be less seating due to the cut-outs needed for wheelchair seating, and the aisles will be a little wider.”

“Do you know how much less?” asked Kathy Roethler.

Joynt replied that he did not.

Karla Anderson noted, “My concern is if we have state play-offs or another event, like graduation, that can get really full.”

“We probably won’t be hosting wrestling districts any more-that just got too full,” Joynt answered. “We do some regional games that can get pretty full. The only other idea is to fill in with bleachers all the way to the north, which would add another 40 or 50 seats.”

Athletic Director Joe Carter interjected that the gym currently does not have enough seating to host a regional final.

“I know that first step is really hard for older folks,” said Anderson. “And there’s no handrail in the middle. Maybe we’ll get more people back out here if we fix that.”

“The current bleachers are legal. We get them inspected, but they’re not up to new code,” Joynt noted.

Tammy Naig wondered, “Can you tell me what the priority is for doing new bleachers? Are the other ones worn out or are there safety concerns?”

“It’s the accessibility,” Joynt answered. “The bleachers are also worn out, and we spend hundreds of dollars replacing those boards that break.”

With no further discussion, Joynt stated that he would move ahead and work on acquiring specs for new bleachers.

The storage building, located at the old middle school football field, was a topic of discussion, as well.

“Two years ago, we gave the old football field to the city for flag football and youth soccer,” explained Joynt. “We continue to use the field for occasional middle school football games. In fact, we’re the only ones who use electricity down there, or they would have pulled the plug on that.”

Joynt shared that the flag football and youth soccer programs would like to erect a new storage facility.

“We’re involved because we store all of our middle school football equipment in there,” said Joynt. “They’re asking us to commit to the grant application [for a Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation grant].”

Joynt noted that the bids for the proposed storage building came in considerably lower than expected.

“Our commitment would be for $750, which is very reasonable,” said Joynt. “I want you to know that two of our board members are involved in the flag football program. We need the storage.”

“So, they would take the old building down?” asked Anderson.

“There are holes in the building now,” said Brennan. “It needs to go. The intent is to pour a pad and put up a 20 feet by 24 feet storage building. We’ll be doing all the labor ourselves.”

Funding for the matching grant portion would come from either the Physical Plant & Equipment Levy or Buildings and Grounds, and not from the General Fund.

With no further discussion, Joynt stated that he would move ahead with the project.

In other business, the board approved Jordan Cody as middle school wrestling coach and Jeremy Joynt as volunteer wrestling coach. Joynt noted that Jordan Cody was the wrestling coach at the middle school last year, but resigned because he believed his schedule would not allow him to continue coaching.