Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Funds short for athletic fields


At the working meeting of the Moose Lake School Board on Monday, February 13, board members were disappointed to learn bids came in higher than anticipated for finishing the new athletic fields.

“We had a $1.4 million projected budget,” said Josh Kostiuk of Boldt Construction, the construction manager, to the board. “We are within $200,000 of meeting this budget. We will work with ARI (Architectural Resources Inc.) and the subcontractors. We feel that this is achievable.”

Katie Hildenbrand of ARI explained where the $200,000 could be cut.

“There would be a cost savings by just doing one playground,” she said. “We could negate some movement on earthwork. We may save $100,000 there. We could pick up $200,000 easily.”

The plan presented to the board for the athletic fields was the basic plan.

“This plan eliminates the fence around the football and track, and the backstop for baseball and softball,” said Hildenbrand. “But baseball would have a full fence.”

The football field would have a standard grass surface that could be upgraded later.

She suggested there would be a cost savings with a four-foot fence around the baseball field instead of a six-foot fence.

“Who is going to pay for fixing a windshield that is hit by a baseball on County Road 10?” asked board member Kris Lyons.

Bringing power to the individual fields was another service where costs could be reduced.

“We worked with the low bidder and asked them to give us some options,” said Kostiuk. “They will trench in power to the scoreboards anyway. What would it cost to add more options?”

Kostiuk said it would cost $180,000 to get power and lights to the fields. But it was suggested the fields not be lighted as a way of saving costs. The lights could be added later since the power was to the area.

Lyons asked about irrigation.

“You can’t build fields if you can’t water them,” she pointed out.

Hildenbrand said it would cost around $75,000 for an irrigation system. A new well would have to be drilled for watering the fields. It was said the city water supply does not have enough nutrients for the vegetation on the fields.

The track would consist of a non-porous blacktop surface with rubberized track material on top.

The rubberized surface was expected to last 15 years.

“When you pull out the rubber in 15 years, you won’t have to replace the non-porous surface under it,” said Hildenbrand.

The plan called for a concrete curb around the track and football field.

“We could do a bitumous curb,” said Hildenbrand. “That would save money.”

Provisions for other track events could be moved to the end of the football field inside the track instead of its own area to save money,” Hildenbrand also suggested.

She spoke about the two playgrounds. One would be for grades K-2 and the other would be for grades 3-6. Each were estimated to cost around $100,000, but there was only $75,000 available.

The budget for furnishings and equipment was $450,000. Hildenbrand told the board that funds could be taken from that if they needed more funding for athletic fields.

She listed various categories where funds would be used in the building. Several board members did not favor redirecting those funds to the athletic fields.

Superintendent Robert Indihar pointed out the fitness center did not have equipment to develop the cardiovascular system of the students. Hildenbrand replied that $75,000 could easily be spent for that type of equipment.

Board member Jamie Jungers pointed out a building for the restrooms and concession stand was of vital importance. But it would need a water system and mound system.

The board members were asked to think about how to work with the funds and priorities they want to see on the athletic fields.

“This is disappointing,” said Lyons. “We will have a new building, but we can’t finish off our fields the way we wanted to. It’s sad — really disheartening.”

The board once again discussed whether the business sponsor banners hanging in the current gym should be moved to the large gym in the new school. The opinions of the board members were varied.

Indihar also asked the board what should be moved from the old school to the new school.

He spoke of equipment, such as heaters, that use a lot of power to operate, and said those would not be moved to the new school.

He also asked about the furniture. Fifty percent of the furniture from the old school will be moved to the new school. What standards would the furniture have to meet to be considered for moving to the new school, he asked.

He said he needs guidelines from the board.

The monthly meeting of the school board has been set for Tuesday, February 21, at 6 p.m.

A special meeting of the board will be set later to discuss priorities for the athletic field complex based on the funds available.


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