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Boosters eye WHS weight room project

Friday, May 21, 2010

School Board embraces proposed $46,000 update

A proposed project unveiled at Monday's Cherokee Board of Education meeting by the Cherokee Athletic Boosters would upgrade and enhance the school's weight room with the addition of $46,000 in new weight training equipment and a spiffy new interior paint job.

That $46,000 includes installation of the new equipment, and a credit for the existing used equipment that would be traded in. The new paint job - estimated at about $10,000 - would be donated by a "local business" according to Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom, who was not at liberty to identify that local business.

Currently, Chalstrom said the Boosters have raised $20,000 for the project and are in the process of more fund-raising, said Chalstrom.

The District had previously earmarked $10,000 for an earlier Boosters project that would have refurbished the seating and press boxes at the high school baseball and softball fields. However, drainage woes, geography, and space requirements made that proposed project a major, price-prohibitive undertaking, so the Boosters have redirected their attention to the "Cherokee Ironworks" weight room project located in the former U.S. Army Armory adjacent to Washington High School and used for weight training classes and by the athletic programs.

With the Boosters $20,000 and $10,000 from the District, that leaves a $16,000 shortfall. Chalstrom said that the Boosters are raising additional funds now, and the school's portion could possibly increase when the bids are received on the District's new $200,000 lighting project at George Hicks Field for football and track and field. Those bids will be let later in June, with work on the lighting project beginning July 1 and finished in time for the 2010 football season.

Chalstrom and school board member Larry Goodrich met with the Boosters recently to discuss the weight room project. Approximately 220 students daily use the weight room, according to Goodrich.

After some discussion, Chalstrom also advised the Board that the baseball/softball press boxes may have to be banned because they are in such dilapidated condition and hazardous to access on a ladder. The press boxes were an after-thought add-on done on the cheap when the high school ball fields were first developed several years ago.

In other action, the Board approved a contract for Chad Osler to be the Braves freshman baseball coach; accepted the resignation of Sherry Miller as WHS varsity volleyball coach; accepted the resignation of Cari Higgins as Special Education Instructor at Cherokee Middle School, and Special Olympics coach; and accepted the resignation of Rebecca Bolinger as ECLC bus associate.

The Board also approved a request for travel to the Omaha Zoo from the 2nd Grade Team at Roosevelt Elementary School; and approved the District's bread bid with Sara Lee, and the dairy bid with Dean Foods for the 2010-2011 school year.

The District also will participate again in the Iowa School Cash Anticipation Program for 2010-2011. The Board's approval on this matter makes the District eligible for access to short-term, low-interest cash if needed in case of a cash shortfall in normal operations. The District has never had to tap these funds, according to Chalstrom.

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