MFL MarMac projects prioritized

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


MFL MarMac Superintendent Dale Crozier, at the April 10 school board meeting, prioritized a list of projects the district can tackle starting this summer, then into the next couple years.


Some must-dos, as Crozier called them, include seal coating the parking lot at the Monona Center, painting trim at the middle school, buying the scoreboard for the high school gymnasium, tuck pointing, purchasing elementary furniture and installing a handicap door in the new elementary addition.


Among the “can-dos” are replacing the auditorium screen, an addition to the home bleachers at the football field/track, a middle school science wall, middle school bathroom remodel and trimming of the trees in the Monona Center courtyard.


“These are all already in the works, and I’ve been talking on and off about them. We need all of these things,” Crozier told the school board.


Although originally listed as longer term projects, the board also advocated moving south entrance lighting at the Monona Center and fencing around the elementary school as higher priorities.


Other longer term projects include continued branding and gradually replacing weight room equipment. New visitor’s side bleachers are also needed at the football field. Crozier hopes the home bleacher addition will provide a solution for this.


“When we do the bleacher addition on the home side, we might be able to take our new portable bleachers and put them on the visitor side and get rid of those other bleachers,” he explained. “The only problem is there is still the fence to negotiate. We need to raise it up so they’re sitting above the fence.”


Also on the radar: replacing the pads on the walls and stage in the high school gym. Projects in the gym are tricky, though, said Crozier. 


“If we fix everything in the old gym, people might not vote for a new gym,” he stated, referencing the potential re-proposal of a bond referendum to construct a fieldhouse in Monona.


Then there are still longer term projects. One involves re-doing the high school principal’s and secretary’s office space. Others include creating a grand south entrance, removing four feet from the stage in the high school gym, courtyard remodeling and additional landscaping on the north side steps and west elementary entrance in Monona, creating additional work space in the daycare basement and replacing the kindergarten roof.


“When you replace that roof, every roof in the district has been replaced, so we should be good. Then you have to start looking at the roofs I replaced my first year here,” said Crozier. “You don’t want to go 10 years and replace no roofs and then all of a sudden you have $2 million worth of roofs to replace.”


Additionally, architectural plans are being developed for a high school science room remodel and a press box at the football field. Crozier said projects can also be completed related to the district’s recent safety and vulnerability study.


“We’ll get some money for that, and that’s where we can pay for additional fencing, more surveillance, updated technology, aesthetic door barriers to entrances,” he shared.


According to Crozier, the earlier listed projects can be completed using PPEL (physical plant and equipment levy) and sales tax funds. MFL MarMac will have $1.7 million by the end of the current fiscal year, which wraps up June 30, then will have another $1.48 million in fiscal year 2024. Subtracting fixed payments such as bus and transportation costs, technology leases, space rental and auditorium payments, as well as the must- and can-do projects and contingencies, that leaves $853,000 remaining before any fiscal year 2024 revenue, Crozier said.


“Then, if we added the FY 24 revenue and calculated the fixed expenses, the remaining balance would be $1,706,000,” he stated.


This sets MFL MarMac up well should it pursue a bond for the field house project next year, Crozier added.


“Let’s say your facilities committee meets in October and you decide to have a bond referendum in March. Then you can pay off your auditorium in January. Then you can legitimately tell all your people that, one, we’re debt free, and two, we built the elementary addition,” Crozier said. “Three, we have all new roofs and electric and boilers. Our buildings are all tuck pointed. Everything is good. You have a lot of good things you could say. Yeah, our facilities are old, but they are in good shape.”


Staffing changes approved

At the meeting, the school board approved multiple staffing changes. Contracts were approved for Dave Corlett as assistant golf coach, Zach Trudo as assistant baseball coach, Venessa Rose and Gene Gerndt as JV softball coaches, Brett Jackson as .3 FTE assistant middle school principal and Abbey Cottrell as .8 FTE assistant elementary principal.


Resignations were accepted from Payton Miller as middle school science teacher, Leslie Henkes as high school student council advisor, Victoria Nelson as district nurse and Angie Killian as speech coach. Additionally, a transfer was approved for Jake Wilke to high school physical education teacher/SPED.

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