School board ponders relocation of softball diamonds

School Board
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Does the Monticello Community School District lose a practice football field or one of two practice soccer fields?

     That was the question proposed to the School Board during their June 25 meeting concerning relocation of the two varsity/JV softball fields.

     Superintendent Brian Jaeger explained that where the softball fields sit today, the site is too close to the proposed middle school addition. And should there be future development of a K-4 addition, the fields would definitely have to go.

     After talking with Roger Wolf with OPN and Civil Engineer Brent Jackman with HHE Inc., Jaeger presented the alternatives to the board.

     While relocating the softball fields might sound simple, one wrench in the plans is the location of the floodway and 100-year floodplain. Jaeger said they are not allowed to build over the floodway, and any structures proposed in the 100-year floodplain would have to meet DNR and Army Corps of Engineer approval.

     “The fields themselves can be below the floodplain, but we would take the chance that they could be flooded,” warned Jaeger.

     While it would obviously cost money to relocate the fields, there are also the added costs of building up the ground for infrastructure, possibly $13 to $14 per cubic yard.

     The board directed Jaeger to revisit with Jackman on plans for both alternatives: relocation on the practice football field or relocation on one of the practice soccer fields. Jaeger said there would be additional costs to design both alternatives, which the board set a not-to-exceed amount of $7,500.

     If the practice football field were lost, Jaeger, who also spoke with Athletic Director Tim Lambert, said goal posts could be added to one of the soccer fields for shared access.

     In tossing out another option, board member Bud Johnson asked whether the middle school could “be repositioned another way to make it work” and not have to relocate the softball fields.

     “We should consider all options,” said Jaeger. He said if the relocation proposals came in at an outrageous price, a plan B would need to be considered.

     Board member John Schlarmann admitted his biggest concern in moving the softball diamonds was perhaps stepping on the toes of those who put in time and effort in the past to get them built the first time around.

     “A lot of people put their time and money into those,” he said. “Are we throwing money away and spending more money to move them? I want to make sure we’re doing this right.” Schlarmann said if there appears to be no sentimental attachment to the fields where they currently reside, he’s not opposed to relocating them.

     Jaeger pointed out that Jackman felt it would be cheaper to relocate on the practice football field than any other site.

In other school board business:

     • The board approved the consent agenda, which included the resignation of Casey Reyner as a middle school football coach, and the appointment of Carly Hayen and Tommy Dirks as Summer Panther Academy associates at $13.94 an hour.

     The consent agenda also included the approval of: 2018-19 high school fundraisers, middle school fundraisers, elementary and PTO fundraisers, bowling fundraisers, high school field trips, middle school field trips, and elementary field trips.

     • The board approved the 2018-19 District Teacher Handbook, Support Staff Handbook, Panther Academy Parent Handbook, and Administrative Staff Handbook.

     • At the close of the meeting, Schlmann commented that he wanted the public to know how much donations are gifted to the MCSD and of the generous work the Monticello School District Foundation does for the students as well. “I want people to know how much the Foundation has done for us,” he praised. “It’s great stuff they’re doing.” Schlarmann also thanked local businesses and banks in the community for their support of athletic events. “It’s pretty great,” he said.



Subscriber Login