Original Ranger Field idea scrapped

By Jeff Smith


The conversation about the Ranger Field renovation continued at this month’s school board meeting. At the August school board meeting there was a conversation about the need to have the south end of the field graded. The engineering firm KLJ gave a plan for what needs to happen for the contractor work.

School board member Dennis Krull said there are some items in the plan that don’t need to happen. One of those things was removing the irrigation system.

When he was working on the football field this past spring he talked to a sod installer who said they don’t do the grading. Krull thought that they should break something down in four different categories. One would be everything included and then there could be three different quotes for sod, grading and irrigation. Krull said he would like to see it broken down because the people who do one side of project might not do anything else.

“I think with enough oversight the school district could be its own general contractor and all three of them could be put out as one,” Krull said.

He suggested not going out for a total quote just yet. They will have to bring something back to the engineering firm on how they would like to see everything get done.

The idea was popular and the school board decided not to approve the original item on the agenda — authorizing the business office to publish bid notices for the Ranger Field surface project. Some school board members will be working with KLJ to get some different specifications together so that other quotes can go out.

School board member Carmen Ronish also thought they need an estimated timeline too.

Based on student enrollment, Hill City School District received $18,439 as a one-time allocation from the State of South Dakota. Due to this, school district employees received a $267.23 bonus. Everyone who received South Dakota Retirement System benefits met the benchmark to receive the bonus. Overall, it was 69 employees.

As of last week the unofficial count for student enrollment in the district was 462. The official count date from last year was 456. The unofficial enrollment increase is six students.

The high school vocational technology classes will most likely be constructing a storage unit at Ranger Field.

School board Greg Schroeder’s only problem with it was that the school district doesn’t want to get to the point of having students make things to sell. He doesn’t want people to think they are abusing the child labor laws and then get to the point that the students are making things just to keep the program going.

“There are ways that this could go wrong,” Schroeder said.

Krull said when people came to talk about the Vo-Tech program this past spring they brought up a lot of ideas for the students.

Schroeder said it is great because they are filling a need and the students are doing the project just for instructional purposes.