The need for a climbing wall was discussed by the Iola-Scandinavia School Board at its Jan. 12 meeting.
The school district currently has a climbing wall in the gymnasium at the I-S Community Fitness & Aquatic Center.
Recently, the physical education teacher made a request to start using the climbing wall for a few classes.
“The wall will need to be recertified before using it,” said ISCFAC Director Tim Welch.
In addition to the cost of recertification, some parts and equipment may need to be replaced, at an estimated cost of $1,400. Welch recommended purchasing a few auto belay systems at about $2,300 each, instead of training people to help the climbers.
He estimated the cost of about four belay systems and helmets would be about $15,000.
“I see value in (the climbing wall) for our physical education programs and for our community,” said High School Principal Sara Anderson. “Right now it is not accessible.”
The board decided to wait for more information before making a decision on the future of the climbing wall.
District Administrator David Dyb invited the school board members to an area-wide meeting for small school districts. The discussion on common issues, sharing resources and networking will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Rosholt.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of sound equipment for the high school auditorium, not to exceed $10,000. Most of the expense will be taken from the musical activity fund.
The board approved a 1.5 percent raise for support staff, plus an extra stipend for bus drivers on extended routes.
The board also approved the new pay scale as proposed by Welch.
“This is a big step in getting the FAC staff on a consistent pay scale,” said Sarah Thiel, business manager for the I-S School District.
The board agreed to re-visit the wage increase schedule for the ISCFAC workers.
A 5 percent increase in ISCFAC membership fees, effective March 1, was also approved. Current memberships will not be affected until renewed.
The board discussed the Spanish Club’s request to approve a spring field trip to Costa Rica. Board members expressed disapproval that trip payments were made prior to the trip being officially approved.
It was noted that the dates of the trip will conflict with baseball and softball playoffs.
In executive session, the board approved 2015-16 director contracts for: Jim Spencer, building and grounds; Mary Jo Gerhardt, food service; Gary Trzebiatowski, transportation; and Tim Welch, ISCFAC.
Also in executive session, the board approved 2015-17 contracts for District Administrator David Dyb, High/Middle School Principal Sara Anderson and Business Manager Sarah Thiel.
The ballot order for school board candidates will begin with Kristen Hoyord, to represent the village of Iola, followed by Jeff Oppor, to represent the town of St. Lawrence and the southern half of the town of Helvetia.
Board President Charles Wasrud filed for non-candidacy. Oppor is running for his position. If Oppor wins the uncontested election, he will have the option of representing a new area or continuing in his current position of representing the village of Iola.
“Charlie not running is not acceptable to me,” said board member Bruce Beyersdorf. “He is our leader, and we need him.”