VCSC delays action on SMWC football agreement to July 25

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Jul. 12—With details still being finalized, the Vigo County School Board was asked to delay action on a proposed agreement with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College for the college's new sprint football program, which begins this fall.

The agreement is for the college's use of the West Vigo High School football field for home games.

The delay "has nothing to do with our commitment to seeing Saint Mary-of-the-Woods launch their football program. It is a couple of the details within the contract," Superintendent Rob Haworth informed the board.

Board action is expected at the July 25 meeting.

The operational details relate to insurance and concessions.

Concessions "is not a sticking point. We just want to make sure when they have concessions at their games, they are fully in charge" and there is no expectation that VCSC provides workers for it, Haworth said.

The college's use of the West Vigo football field would not interfere with the high school schedule "as these (SMWC) games would occur on Saturday afternoon, similar to what you would find in college football around the country," Haworth said.

The college announced its new team sport last year. It is a founding member of the Midwest Sprint Football League.

The Pomeroys are slated to play the program's first sprint football home game Sept. 24 at West Vigo, according to the SMWC inaugural schedule.

In other matters, the board approved a decrease in elementary textbook fees and slight increase for middle school textbook fees.

The new rates, decreasing for elementary grades, would be kindergarten, $124 (down from the current $125); Grade 1, $123 (down from $138); Grade 2, $109 (down from $124); Grade 3, $114 (down from $128); Grade 4, $100 (down from $114); and Grade 5, $102, (down from $116).

Fees for middle school are as follows: Grade 6, $158.60 to $178.10, compared to $158 to $177.50 this past year; Grade 7, $161.25 to $179.25, compared to $160 to 178 this past year; and Grade 8, $158.50 to $176.50, compared to the past year's $157.25 to $175.25.

At the high school level, the only changes are for new math materials adopted this summer, said Donna Wilson, chief financial officer.

Elementary fees declined because the district opted to purchase math textbook/curriculum materials similar to what has been used for many years, but the specific product chosen was significantly less expensive, said John Newport, formerly the district's curriculum coordinator for math.

Also, the new product also has a "more robust" digital platform, he said.

School board member Hank Irwin pointed out that while the district has moved to more of a digital platform through use of Chromebooks, "We have to pay fees to access that digital material and we still have consumables we use each year to go with it."

The majority of the cost is in the creation of the content, whether digital or print, not the actual books themselves, and classrooms do maintain sets of textbooks for students to use, the district says.

The board also conducted a public hearing and took final action to proceed with a short-term $5.8 million general obligation bond issue.

Bonds will be sold later this summer.

The bond issue would be used for such facility improvements as heating/ventilation/air conditioning; paving; site improvements; and purchase of equipment and technology.

The projects "are not simply general maintenance, but replacement projects," said Newport, the new VCSC director of facility support and transportation.

They are part of an ongoing district maintenance plan and are re-visited annually to review current priorities or needs of the district, he said.The district is working on potential projects for next summer.

At the meeting's conclusion, Haworth informed the board the district is preparing for the new school year, with the first student day on Thursday, Aug. 11.