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

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Facilities committee talks funding priorities


The Moose Lake School Facilities Committee reviewed the list of needs once again at a meeting on Thursday, June 27.

The committee had prioritized the list at an earlier meeting. The top priorities identified were: zero-turn lawnmower, cameras in the early childhood wing, stairs to the top of the sound booth in the auditorium, installing a cable from the sound booth to the stage for the computer, capping the fence at the baseball field, benches for the dugouts, tiling the floor in the computer lab, and purchasing and installing an exterior screen for the chiller. The early childhood playground was also on the list but there weren’t enough funds to complete it, it was said.

A van was on the list but there are funds available in the Bus Fund for the purchase, said Superintendent Robert Indihar. It can be ordered in December.

He also spoke about a watering system for the practice football field, with an estimated cost between $4,000 - 8,000.

“Right now, the field is being watered but they have to drag the hoses around,” he explained. “It would cost $40,000 to irrigate it. There are other watering systems that would be less expensive.”

Indihar recommended that the work in the auditorium be completed. The watering system and capping the fences in the baseball field were also priorities, as was purchasing the zero-turn lawnmower.

In discussions about the early childhood playground, the committee favored spending $50,000 on it to get it started and then see what to do from there. Early Childhood Coordinator, Julie Duesler, will be asked for ideas and drawings.

The concessions stand/locker room/restrooms building and grandstand and press box for the track were big-ticket items. There was discussion about levying both the Moose Lake and Willow River School Districts for the cost of those major improvements. No decision was made.

The committee also discussed the construction of a second parking lot. Cost estimates from two different companies ranged from $200,000 to $450,000. The most pressing need was repairing drainage issues. That would be done when the parking lot was built. Lighting for the parking lot was also a need.

There was discussion about the surface of the parking lot. It was said that it could be Class Five gravel at first and later paved.

Using abatement bonds to fund the parking lot were discussed. Indihar explained that there was a loophole to allow abatement bonds to be used for building parking lots. A vote by the property owners in the school district was not needed.

It was decided that further discussions about the parking lot could wait until next year.

The committee also discussed the small cell antennas that have been proposed to be installed on two poles across the road from the school. A parent group has expressed their fears about radiation from the antennas affecting young students and asked that the antennas not be allowed.

Jungers has checked with the law enforcement agencies.

“The antennas are not going to matter as far as the emergency personnel are concerned,” he said.

It was decided that any decision about the antennas be put on hold.

It was said at a previous meeting that the school district has a contract with Verizon for the antennas, and the contract cannot be cancelled. However, the project can be put on hold indefinitely.

The antennas would bring cell signals into the school for Verizon customers, it was said.

Indihar reported that Beckie Jackson will be the new athletic director. Jackson had been the volleyball coach last year but resigned. A volleyball coach has not been hired yet.

A teacher for the business class could be combined with another teaching position, such as social studies, said Indihar. There is also the possibly of sharing the business class with a neighboring school.

The committee will bring its recommendations back to the Moose Lake School Board for approval at the monthly meeting on July 22.


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