Tennis court construction begins

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 5/17/00.

tarring the tennis courts Work on the new tennis courts was started last week. By the end of the week, dirt work was completed and the new surface was paved.

The new tennis courts will not be able to be used until July 4, weather permitting, according to Lew Storkamp, building and grounds supervisor. After the acrylic surface is laid, the surface needs to cure for a month.

The fencing on the old tennis courts will be removed the first weekend in June. Work is expected to start on the auditorium and fitness center the first full week in June.

Work on the new tennis courts started after revisions were ironed out between the construction firm, architects, and the Paynesville Area School Board.

The school board approved the tennis court revisions at their Tuesday afternoon meeting, May 9. The main concern about the tennis courts was drainage. It was decided rain water would drain to the west off the court surface and flow around the courts in a small channel.

According to Howard Caldwell, superintendent, the revision should provide the district with better quality courts and a more reliable end product. The different grade would double the life span of the courts, he added.

Pat Flanders, board chairman, said the first meeting between those involved was frustrating. "I felt the construction people knew what they were talking about," Flanders said.

"After all, they are the ones who repair the courts," Caldwell added. "We have to trust their expert judgment."

The revision involves hauling in about 2,396 cubic yards of fill dirt. Only six inches of top soil would be removed from the site located between the vocational building and school garage.

Caldwell informed the board this would add about $18,210 to the project.

The board received over 100 bids on about 30 different bid areas for the auditorium and fitness center. The bids were opened May 4.

"The bids came in closer than what we expected. We won't have a lot of room to work within our budget," Caldwell said. "We might need to trim some areas if we don't manage our building budget carefully."

The bids will be presented to the board at their May 23 meeting for final approval. The construction manager is still reviewing the bids to ensure all the data is accurate.

Youth advisory council
The school board met with the youth advisory committee to learn about what the students would like to see happen in the school district.

The students discussed the school-to- work program. The students felt it would be advantageous to have job shadowing as a junior or senior. Many wondered if it could be built into the curriculum.

At present, freshmen are the only class that have the opportunity to do a job shadowing as part of the careers course.

The students also felt it was important for them to know how to write a letter of application, a resume, and how to apply for a job.

Another topic the students touched upon was the perfect attendance guide-lines which are part of next year's student handbook. Some of the students were in favor of the new policy while others questioned whether students would come to school sick.

The students were unsure as to what would happen on final test days. John Janotta, high school principal explained, students with perfect attendance would be allowed to miss final tests and be excused from school.

The middle school students told the advisory council that they have decided to have a Custodian Appreciation Day on May 17. At 2:50 p.m., the students will recognize the custodians with plaques.

Handbook changes
Janotta reviewed the changes in the 2000-2001 handbook with the school board. Three changes were made in the handbook from last year. One dealt with student athletes needing written permission slips to ride home with parents following a game.

Another change involved new perfect attendance guidelines. Perfect attendance shall be defined as a student being in attendance for the entire school day for the entire school year. A student with perfect or exemplary attendance will be allowed to miss final test days during the last two days of school.

A student may elect to attend any or all of their classes on the last two days of school to take a test or be involved in the final evaluation. If they are in school, their final grade may be improved.

A third change being considered deals with student parking permits. Because of the construction at the high school next year, Janotta is considering requiring students driving to school to have a permit displayed in their vehicle. He was undecided as to whether a fee would be charged or not.

No decision was made by the board.

Other business
•The board approved hiring Mark Syvertson, Pequot Lakes, as the new high school math teacher to replace Steve Sullivan, who is retiring.

•The board approved hiring Ardys Dybsand, a long-term substitute teacher to replace Lorraine Skrypek, middle school special education teacher, who is on medical leave.

•The board approved hiring Allen Murphy as the summer marching band color guard instructor and Jeremy White, drum line instructor.

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