Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Athletic Facilities Explained

Small communities are great places to live and raise a family. Back in the early 1970's residents of the Janesville Community worked together to develop an athletic complex for the students of the then, Janesville Public School District. These athletic facilities have provided excellent opportunities for our students over the past 45 years. It is now time for the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton School District to conduct repairs and improvements to this area. There have been several questions asked by district residents over the past few months regarding this. Please review the questions and answers below. Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Bill Adams at the contact information listed at the end of this article.

Drainage Issues
Proposed Concept

How is the district paying for this?

1. With the passage of the operating levy in the fall of 2011, costs of operating the school district were secured. During this time, the school board has worked diligently to be fiscally responsible in expenditure and revenue planning in an effort to pay for repairs and upgrades.

2. The State Legislature came out with a Long Term Facilities Levy (LTFM) recently that allows for school districts to levy dollars to complete repairs on facilities. This authority will be utilized as a way to pay for needed repairs.

3. Lease Purchase for additional learning space is an authority that can be utilized to provide additional learning space. The improved and upgraded facilities can be used for education purposes in physical education, health, outdoor education, and in many other areas.

When does the 1998 bond fall off?

The 1998 bond is set to fall off after the 2017 tax year. Therefore, 2018 tax statements should reflect a decrease in taxes collected from the local school district. With that being said, the impact will be dependent on the value of each property.  

Why are you installing turf?

Several discussions regarding grass or turf took place throughout the past five years. In the end, the school board decided on turf surface for the following reasons:

- The utilization of the football field and softball field was taken into consideration. Due to the outstanding drainage of this surface, the football and softball fields can be used as soon as the ground thaws or when it stops raining. This will allow for fewer events being rescheduled and extreme maintenance needs reduced.
- The utilization of school facilities has increased significantly throughout the years. With the installation of turf, we will be able to allow usage of these facilities on a consistent basis. Physical education courses, junior high football through senior high football, youth football, and so on.
- Cost savings in maintenance, irrigation, weed control, paint, and other areas are realized with a turf surface as opposed to grass.
- Income possibilities are realized as the facility can be rented to other interested parties. We have already received interest from the Region to host a section football final. The district hopes to host conference and section track meets in the future. The possibility of soccer events played on this field is also present. 

If the school is spending this money, why are they in need of renewing the operating levy in the fall of 2018?

The operating levy that was passed in the fall of 2011 is for operating expenses. In essence, this money pays for day to day expenses from teaching and learning to electricity. The school district depends on this allocation of finances to operate. The school board has worked diligently to be fiscally responsible in expenditure and revenue planning in an effort to pay for repairs and upgrades. In addition, we will be utilizing finances from Long Term Facilities Maintenance and Lease Purchase authority provided through the State of Minnesota. These funds are specific to facility repairs and additional classroom space and cannot be utilized for operating expenses. 

Aren't more injuries caused on turf fields than grass fields?

No, that is not true. There have been various studies conducted on this very issue. In some studies, it is stated that turf fields do cause more injuries where in others it is argued the exact opposite. A study conducted by Dr. Michael C. Meyers of the Department of Health and Human Development at Montana State University has confirmed that Field Turf is safer than natural grass sports surfaces. Specific information regarding this study can be found via this link:

What type of shoes do people have to wear on the turf fields?

Those participating on the turf surface can wear tennis shoes or their normal cleats. If a team that is visiting the new field does not have a turf field, they can wear their normal cleats to play the game. There are no special foot attire required.

Are the soils acceptable to complete work in the designated area?

This is still a work in progress. We have had several soil borings completed over the past month. Some of those borings showed outstanding areas to work on while others did not. The school board will continue to meet to discuss options in this area. At this point, there will be revisions made to ensure we can move forward with the project. What we can positively state is that no additional dollars will be spent beyond what was budgeted. Therefore, changes in scope and scale of the project may be revised.

As stated at this beginning of this Q&A, should you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Bill Adams at or 507.231.7770.

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