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Helmut Schmidt, Published February 11 2013

WF School Board OKs repairs to track at Berger

WEST FARGO – After more than two years of debate over whether to repair or eliminate the track at L.E. Berger Elementary, the school board voted 4-0 on Monday to give it new life.

The crumbling track will be replaced with a 12-foot-wide asphalt track. A long jump and pole vault area will be removed. And the field will have drainage installed and be graded so water no longer runs over the track, Business Manager Mark Lemer said.

Unused asphalt tennis courts will also be removed from the end zones of the playing field bordered by the track.

Industrial Builders won the base bid contract for $104,600. The West Fargo firm also won the bid to remove the end zone asphalt for $5,000.

The firm will also be paid $48 a square yard for asphalt patching, and $4 a lineal foot for routing and sealing cracks in the track.

The $109,600 total is $14,250 more than the $95,350 estimate for the project.

“People are on it all the time, so I’m glad we’re not decommissioning it,” board President Kay Kiefer said. “I drive by that every day. We had to do something.”

The track should have a 25-year life with proper maintenance, Lemer said.

The project was first considered along with a raft of other district needs in a Jan. 31, 2011, budget meeting, Lemer said.

Superintendent David Flowers said the track will be used by the Berger students, but it’s open to all, as is the Cheney Middle School track, “as a service to the community.”

In other business:

• The board held a first hearing on policies for naming schools and parts of facilities, such as libraries, theaters, gyms or other athletic facilities.

In some instances, facilities may be named in honor of someone for a contribution of at least 25 percent of the cost of a project.

The district’s policy on sponsorships will also be updated. For example, district-level or school-level projects or events can have a sponsor’s name attached with financial support of 50 percent or more of the project.

The superintendent will approve sponsorships of less than $25,000, while the board will approve sponsorships of more than $25,000, and those involving naming facilities. The board will also hear appeals if a sponsorship is denied administratively.

• West Fargo High Community High School Tom Gravel said at least 34 students are on track to graduate from the district’s alternative high school on May 25.

Three school board members were absent: Angela Korsmo, Judy Kvaale and Karen Nitzkorski.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583