L'ANSE - The L'Anse Sports Complex, formally known as the "Village Park," is taking shape on the hill behind L'Anse Junior/Senior High School and C.J. Sullivan Elementary School, but the district acknowledged a financial shortfall on the project that it's looking to make up for with volunteer labor from students, coaches and interested community members.
Three years ago, the district received a $440,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund, but the district is about $50,000 short on its match of donations and in-kind services.
"We're operating on as many fronts as we possibly can to offset some of this," Superintendent Ray Pasquali said during Monday's regular school board meeting.
Stephen Anderson/Daily Mining Gazette
The L’Anse Sports Complex, formally known as the “Village Park,” is shown Monday evening. The park, which is located on the hill behind the school, as seen in this photo, is nearing completion, but more volunteers are needed to bring the project to completion. The L’Anse Area Schools Board of Education put out a plea for volunteers at Monday’s regular meeting to help meet grant requirements.
The board invited several varsity coaches to Monday's meeting and made a plea to them to get their athletes involved to perform tasks, which are currently being coordinated by board member Scott Swanson.
"We're close on this park. We've done a tremendous amount of work already," said Swanson, who said the complex will be "one-stop shopping" once complete.
The complex includes a new football field - current Meadowbrook Field is on a flood plain - a football/soccer field, a track, tennis courts, two baseball fields, an archery range, an improved trail system, several parking lots and plans for a future locker room facility.
"I know a lot of you have really put a lot of time and effort into this thing already, and we really appreciate it, but we just need one last push here," board president Jason Ayres said.
The school will also be involving classes in the project, since ultimately it's the students who will benefit from the new complex.
"The kids need to take ownership of something they're going to benefit from; that's the bottom line," Pasquali said. "We'll all get use out of it, it'll benefit the community and the school, and it's a very, very worthwhile effort."
People looking to help out can call the school at 524-6000. Swanson will be working to put together a list of projects and a method for tracking volunteer hours, since documentation is critical to matching the grant.
In other business at Monday's meeting, the board:
approved the 2011-12 annual report, which will be published on the district's website, lanseschools.org.
named Eva Marie Hatfield as the Michigan Association of School Boards fall conference delegate, with Suzette Reilley as alternate.
announced the hiring of second grade teachers Jessa Maraccini and April Thor; seventh and eighth grade teacher Rejean Kangas; technology coaches Jennifer Rubin and Emily Gasperich; high school at-risk aide Kristin Kahler; and elementary at-risk aide Fabian Kristo.
announced the hiring of Darrin Voskuhl as head hockey coach; and Jennifer Wilson, Rachel Lassi and Kortney Tarvainen as varsity, junior varsity and freshmen volleyball coaches.
heard a presentation from Doug Russell from Clean Green Energy, LLC, concerning a new wind turbine that could be constructed on campus to save the district energy costs. Pasquali will investigate further and a decision is expected at the 5 p.m. Nov. 19 board meeting.
heard an update on pupil funding changes (funding will now follow students if they come to or leave the district after student count dates) and an elementary Ojibwa language course in its first year.
heard the district will host a job fair for juniors and seniors from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 6.
heard a student report from Charlie Beer about Homecoming.