Monday night, the Cherokee School Board approved the sale of the parcel of land housing the old tennis courts to the Cherokee Regional Medical Center for $5,000.
The dilapidated, seldom-used tennis located on Cherokee School District land on Sioux Valley Drive will soon be razed, and the land renovated to house a Respite/Hospice Garden area serving patients and visitors of the adjacent Cherokee Regional Medical Center.
The deal, also involving the City of Cherokee, was brokered by the City in an effort to remove what many have called an "eyesore" because of the decayed condition of the 38-year-old courts, fencing, and lighting system.
CRMC CEO John Comstock said Wednesday that the tentative plans are to beautify the area and transform it into a Respite/Hospice Garden.
Also involved in the transaction was a triangular parcel of unused land near the intersection of South 6th and Walnut Streets on the hill south of Washington High School. That parcel, currently owned and maintained by the School District, will transfer to the City after a Public Hearing by the School District July 22, and the proper deed transfer work is completed.
After the City and School District joined to build the new six-court tennis complex on School property in the Sam Doupe Athletic Complex off East Indian Street several years ago, the Roosevelt Courts were largely ignored and little used. The School District and City jointly maintain the newer tennis court complex and share expenses.
In other action by the Board Monday night, a contract was approved for Brenda Haack as a Cherokee Middle School Guidance Counselor and Student Council Sponsor.
A contract also was approved for Travis Schipper as a WHS Social Science Instructor, WHS freshman football coach, and CMS wrestling coach. Schipper, previously employed in the Okoboji District, replaces Mike Rundall, who was recently named the new Junior High/High School Principal at Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn.
The Board also approved the resignation of Marshall Peterson as Special Education Associate at CMS.
A transfer of $20,584.26 from the General Fund to the Activities Fund for Fiscal Year 2011 also was approved by the Board. Superintendent Dr. John Chalstrom explained that the transfer - about twice what is normal - was necessary to cover the costs of various new athletic uniforms for CMS and WHS athletic programs, and would not be an every year expense.
Chalstrom also informed the Board that the new lighting systems for the WHS and Roosevelt Elementary School gyms were installed, and the new security system at WHS was also installed recently.
The security system was installed by ADT, the same company that recently renovated and upgraded the WHS fire alarm system. Both Chalstrom and Dave Moore, Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds, said they were duly impressed with the workmanship and customer service provided by ADT.
Chalstrom said the next project on the horizon is a new lighting system for the WHS Auditorium, enhanced by a $10,000 contribution from R.J. Thomas Manufacturing of Cherokee, a venerable and long-standing friend to any and all Cherokee School District educational pursuits.
Chalstrom also informed the Board that Booster Club members and other volunteers and donations will soon begin renovating the press boxes and dugout roofs for the WHS baseball and softball fields, and also build a new storage building at the WHS track/football field to replace the old one that was destroyed in last July's tornado.
A resolution between the District and its insurance carrier EMC regarding a cash settlement on the new lighting system at George Hicks Field is also nearing fruition, according to Chalstrom. He said he expects a decision in 30 days. The old lighting system was severely damaged in that 2010 July tornado as the District was already planning to replace it; hence, creating a financial disparity the District and EMC could not reach a settlement on.