Track & field complex coming along

MARSHALL – Marshall Public Schools Activities Director Bruce Remme gave an update on the progress of the Marshall Regional Track and Field Complex at the MPS board meeting Monday evening, noting that the facility was really starting to take shape.

The complex, a joint project between MPS and Southwest Minnesota State University, has a number of items installed, including turf, goal posts, four new light poles, MPS Tiger logos, SMSU Mustang logos, and lines for football, soccer and rugby. Aluminum bleachers have also replaced the old wood decking at the site. In addition, field event areas are nearing completion.

“There’s a lot of progress being made,” Remme said. “The one minor setback was the flooding of the asphalt in the high jump area. That had to be regraded. Basically, they had to cut it out and re-put asphalt down. We’re currently waiting for that to cure. We’re in Week 2 of the 21 days it takes to do that.”

Remme said the next steps in the process will be installing a Mondo surface in the high jump area, painting of track lines on the surface, planting of grass in various areas, fencing in the facility for security purposes and selecting and installing a scoreboard system.

The timeline suggests that the project will reach completion the week of Sept. 15, he said.

“We’re looking forward to that,” Remme said. “It’s really going to be a great experience for our students, as well as the students at SMSU.”

Expectations are to use the new facility this fall, for Marshall High School soccer games, MHS junior varsity and C-squad football games, Tiger marching band rehearsals, MHS cross country practice, SMSU cross country and track practices along with SMSU intramurals. The complex is also expected to be used heavily this spring, for MHS track and field practices and meets, MHS softball and baseball practices, SMSU cross country and track practices, SMSU intramurals, and SMSU softball and baseball practices.

“We’re happy about the opportunities this facility will provide to all of the students,” Remme said. “It’s very exciting.”

Recently-retired teachers Arlene Markell and Leo Geraets were honored with the Tiger Spotlight award during the board meeting. Markell started as a substitute teacher at MPS in 1984. Since that time, she has served as an ECFE teacher and a Title I teacher. Geraets started as a biology teacher at MHS in 1979. During his 35 years at MPS, he also coached football, basketball, track and cross country.

The board approved the recommendation to extend the application deadline for free and reduced meals to Sept. 29 in addition to changing the Sept. 15 meeting date to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16. The board also voted to authorize the approved referendum authority in the amount of approximately $32 per adjusted pupil unit. The authority equals the difference between $300 per pupil unit and the district’s estimated current referendum authority per adjusted pupil unit after the local optional revenue subtraction. The new authority will begin with taxes payable in 2015 and is applicable for three years.

“This will generate an additional $78,000 in general fund revenue,” business director Bruce Lamprecht said. “For the average homeowner of a $150,000 house, it will be an $11 increase for the year for continued support of our technology at MPS.”

The student activities handbook was also approved, with a few changes reflected. Additional language was required to comply with the new Minnesota bullying policy. The new wording includes:

“Bullying is conduct that interferes with a student’s ability to learn and a teacher’s ability to educate students in a safe environment. Marshall Public Schools will investigate, respond, remediate, and discipline those acts of bullying that affect the educational environment of the school. Bullying means any written or verbal expression, physical act or gesture, or a pattern that is intended to cause or is perceived as causing distress to one or more students. Bullying includes, but is not limited to, conduct by a student against another student and has the effect of harming the student, damaging a student’s property, placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or property, or creating a hostile educational environment. (Policy #514)”

“The handbooks are an important step, for awareness and for communication with our students and parents,” MPS Superintendent Scott Monson said.

Sara Antony and Malak Shahin, student school board representatives, gave brief updates, noting the start of the sports and other activities this past week and weighing in on various changes at school.