Koles casts sole vote against proposal
By Holly Neumann
The Iola-Scandinavia School Board voted 3-1 to allow the I-S Tennis Association to build two tennis courts on the school district’s undeveloped property.
Jeff Oppor, Bruce Beyersdorf and Gena Gullixon voted in favor of the project, while Mike Koles voted against it.
Board President Kristen Hoyord and board member Ken Wavruk did not vote on the matter. Bob Fredy was absent.
The site plan was approved at a special board meeting Dec. 16.
Koles voiced his concerns about the project.
“There are still too many unanswered questions,” he said. “Why would we enter into a liability and take up space when this is going to be a community facility, not a school one?”
He noted that the physical education teachers have said they would not have much use for the facility, as there was not enough space for their classes.
“We are turning into the board of recreation, not the board of education,” Koles said.
Koles also referred to a letter written by Keith Williams, who is spearheading the project.
“I don’t like making a decision like this without having all the information,” Koles said. “For Keith to say he hopes common sense can prevail, is telling me that he thinks that the board has no common sense.”
Williams indicated that was not what he meant.
“This was only a comment regarding the various levels of soil testing available, which could cost from several hundred dollars to over $10,000 for any construction project, whether it was building, roadwork or tennis courts,” Williams said.
One of the issues in question was drainage for the area.
“No drainage requirements are required for sites of less than 1 acre for this type of project,” Williams said. “The site has elevation, sandy loam soil which has some compaction ability while permitting a high degree of rainwater absorption as well as drain tile around the perimeter of the courts for a good measure for an exceptional, but possible rainfall situation.”
He went on to say that the drainage capacity of the soil is one gallon per square foot of drainage every 2.34 minutes.
“That also means that one inch of water will be absorbed into the soil/subsoil every 1 minute and 30 seconds,” he said.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the soil has an the absorption rate of 3.6 inches per hour.
“Eventually we will be adding a parking and possibly other things to that area,” said Koles. “What happens with the drainage then?”
According to Williams, the design will not cause any drainage to go south into a new parking area.
Maintenance of the facilities also came into question.
“It is my understanding that the school board wants discussion about mutually used recreation assets like the baseball fields and other recreation properties that school activities are at, so they are in good condition,” said Williams.
He went on the say that the intention is to provide funds to be segregated, which would be held by the endowment fund of the Iola-Scandinavia Community Fitness and Aquatic Center for future maintenance and would grow in future value from investment earnings.