By Sue Moore
Outdoor sports played in the gym at Vicksburg High School have caused severe damage. School board members prepared to put a stop to those uses with a new policy prohibiting softball, baseball and lacrosse in the space.
The policy will apply to the middle school gym as well.
The new gym floor, mural, new lights and scoreboard, are quite susceptible to damage, as are the plastic seats, according to Steve Goss, assistant superintendent. The community will still be able to use the elementary school gyms, but not for the three outdoor sports.
The substantial increase in use in the last five years, primarily on weekends, has resulted in a substantial increase in damage. Staff has been unable to pinpoint who has caused it, Goss said. Damage has included dents in the floor, broken concrete block, holes in seats, damaged scoreboards, lights and switches. “The rules and guidelines have been roundly ignored so we don’t know who is doing the damage,” Goss said. Final approval of the proposed policy is scheduled at the January 11, 2016 meeting.
Goss also reported that the reduced cost of energy coupled with the warm weather have meant a considerable savings in energy bills. Thus far, the school system has locked in 50 percent of the anticipated natural gas usage for the next school year based upon the low rates it has been experiencing, Goss said.
The transition to a private custodian company at Sunset Lake and the Administration Building has been going smoothly, Goss told the board. A resignation at Tobey elementary will allow the next change in service. The remaining custodian, a school employee at Tobey, will be transferred to the high school and the new company was scheduled to begin its work at Tobey over the winter break.
Two mainstays of the school system announced their retirement at this meeting. Ric Beers, who has headed transportation for the district, is leaving after overseeing over 400,000 miles of vehicle use during his 14-year tenure. His replacement as transportation director is Karen McKinstry from the staff of Gull Lake school district.
Steve Miller, who has 41 years of teaching in Vicksburg and more recently as the director of technology services, will also retire. He headed up a lot of the work when the recent millage passed with the upgrade of the school phone system and the installation of new classroom technology. Don Puckett, the school’s network coordinator, will transition into Miller’s responsibilities.