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

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

New school athletic fields discussed


October 12, 2017

Brad Nelson, project manager from Peterson Companies, met with the Moose Lake School Board on Monday, October 9, during a working meeting to discuss the school's athletic fields.

“Our portion of the work on the football field is almost done,” said Nelson. “The gravel is down and Hardrives will pave the surface. We will touch up the edges. It will be dormant seeded in November, and then we will let it do its thing in the spring.

“The baseball field is rough graded. We are spreading ag lime now and we will get the topsoil mixture spread and install the fencing after that. The irrigation system can be installed around the edge.

“The playground is almost done, borderwise. You can take over soon. No drain tile has been installed, but there is a swale to take the water away.”

Board member Kris Lyons asked about the scoreboard that has been installed by the track.

She said it looks like a football scoreboard and it needs to be a scoreboard for track also.

It will be investigated, said Superintendent Robert Indihar.

Lyons also stated the staff that will be operating the scoreboard needs to be trained in how to use it.

She also asked about the geese that visit the wetlands on the property and how to keep them from eating the seeds and new shoots that are planted.

Nelson admitted that has been a problem and that various methods are used to keep them away from new seeding. Board member Jamie Jungers said they may have gone south by November.

There was discussion about changing the dugouts for the baseball field from chain link fence wrapped with a tarp to more solid structures built either out of wood or concrete block.

Jungers pointed out that the dugouts would not be used for a year and a half.

Nelson said the materials for the dugouts were just ordered, but he may be able to cancel the order without a penalty. The fencing could still be installed around the baseball field up to the locations of the dugouts.

There was discussion about the backstop fence. Nelson advised that the fence should be 30 feet high instead of the 20 feet with a hood on it that was listed on the plans.

“The hood doesn’t do much good,” he said. “It would cost another $2,900 to go straight up. If it were me, I would do that.”

The board agreed by consensus.

Two six-foot gates in the lower fencing around the rest of the field would allow maintenance equipment to be brought onto the field, Nelson explained.

The board turned its attention to future projects on the athletic field complex. A list was made that included lights, concrete under the fencing to reduce maintenance, stadium bleachers, a concession stand with restrooms, tickets sales area and storage, and other storage facilities for each sport, communications equipment and so forth.

The estimated costs of the projects added up to just under $2 million.

“If you go to the public (for a referendum), you would need $2 million for this complex,” said Indihar.

He spoke about storage facilities behind the school.

“I’m running into a wall with time,” he said. “Lindquist (the steel siding contractor) hasn’t gotten back to me, and the concrete people are too busy. The project would have to go out on a bid, being that it is over $100,000. I think that we will have to wait until spring.”

Indihar brought up maintenance of the old school.

“People in the community want to know if they can use it,” he told the board. “If we keep it going, it will cost a lot.”

He also said rental fees need to be determined for renting out the gym and auditorium in the new school. The rental fee would include custodial charges.

Lyons gave a list of items that are still needed in the auditorium, such as more curtains in the background to hide lights from the backstage rooms, racks to hold microphones and a portable sound system, boxes in each corner in the back of the auditorium for the spotlights, and other needs.

She said the lights became operational for the concert the previous week, and the sound system had become operational that day. But there were problems with the setup in the auditorium.

“That theater was poorly designed,” she said.

She also pointed out that the spotlights aren’t focused, and that someone from the company that furnished the equipment needs to come, set up the equipment and train staff on its use.

Indihar said there is supposed to be a projector in the auditorium, but it has not been found.

Jungers also gave his list of items that he has seen as needing attention.

“We received a donation for a tree and a bench in memory of Rick Peterson,” he said. “Where is that? The chairs by the counter overlooking the gym look chintzy. The strip above the lockers for hanging banners isn’t in yet. There are cracks in the sidewalk out front. The logo on the tank should be moose horns.”

Indihar said there is progress on the school sign project, and that the board should be seeing preparations that week. A new head custodian is in the process of being hired and that will cut down on his (Indihar’s) work load.


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