Due to spring break, the Watertown-Mayer School Board met on March 15 to hold their monthly meeting. There were a few community items of note, including an update on the bond referendum project with the stadium and inside the school, as well as the consideration of allowing service animals on campus.
The first item regarding the referendum project was the approval of a new concessions stand for the stadium. Todd Larson from Cuningham Group presented on the project. The plan going forward is not to remodel the existing concessions building, but instead to completely replace it. This doesn’t mean the menu will change for anyone coming for their favorite sports event. It would also give the option for the school to expand the menu if it chooses to do so.
The new concessions building is also planned to have three ticketing windows, staffed depending on the size of the event. There will be an entry gate for guests coming in as well as a larger entry gate off to the side for staff and events requiring vehicles.
As for the food, the other side of the building will have three windows for concessions. The kitchen will have plenty of equipment to facilitate the current menu for the volunteers cooking. There will be storage for any spare equipment and freezers.
The crew and board are already receiving feedback from the community. Among the feedback is the name. According to Larson, “Watertown-Mayer Stadium” is not the final name based on feedback. There’s still discussion though, so nothing is set in stone just yet. Anytime you see that as the name, it’s more accurate to think of it as a placeholder.
As far as the budget goes, the building itself is within the set budget. With the gates, it does go above, but depending on how bids go it might be a separate construction project from the concessions building itself.
With all that in mind, a resolution was presented to approve the stadium concession building and proceeding with the bidding. Motion was approved unanimously.
There were more updates about the bond referendum for the board as well. Chris Vogle from ICS presented the updates to the board. Currently, the stadium and athletics projects are done with design and are out to bid. Selections will start by the end of March, starting with turf selection.
As for the elementary school, meeting still need to take place between ICS and the district to discuss renovations over summer. The pre-construction, the plan is to meet on April 20 to “make sure everybody’s ducks are in a row” before construction begins in summers, according to Vogle.
The middle and high school is seeing a cafeteria remodel. This project has demos set for the floor, ceiling, and walls, and has already received new piping under the floor. There are plans to change up the serving area. New concrete has been poured already for the cafeteria.
The media center is also getting attention. Walls have already been demoed to open it up. There are still ceiling construction and mechanical units being put together for the media center, but everything is going according to plan.
The board thanked all the staff for their efforts and for the update on the project.
The final big item of the night was a new policy approval regarding service animals. Superintendent, Darren Schuler, presented on the policy. Schuler looked at what other schools are using in their policies to understand their parameters.
Of course this doesn’t mean that pets will be allowed on campus, but needed animals would be allowed on campus given the proper approval and paperwork on the end of the school.
“A service animal performs a valuable function,” said Schuler. “These animals are highly trained animals.”
It’s still in the early stages, with the first read being planned in June. The policy would allow service animals for students, staff, and teachers on campus if required. The school would also have removal options if necessary, since not every service animal can handle being in a school.
A question brought up was the limits. For example, miniature horses exist as service animals, so the district has to consider the options. Heidi Guetzkow and Jim Burns, board members, suggested that dogs would be the initial requirement, but there could be an option to petition for a different animal.
The policy will continue to be edited and discussed at the policy committee and will return for its first reading in June.