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Raider Hall gym floor to get new look

Forward Bank to donate $56,000 for gym upgrades
Raider Hall gym floor to get new look
This rendering showes the planned design of gym floor when it is refinished. Forward Bank made a $56,500 donation to the school to cover new scoreboards, wall mats and to go toward the resurfacing cost.
Raider Hall gym floor to get new look
This rendering showes the planned design of gym floor when it is refinished. Forward Bank made a $56,500 donation to the school to cover new scoreboards, wall mats and to go toward the resurfacing cost.

There will be a new look to Raider Hall next fall with a local financial institution’s donation to floor and scoreboard improvements at Medford Area Senior High School.

At Monday’s meeting of the Medford school board, members approved accepting a $56,500 donation from Forward Bank to go toward the cost of refinishing the gym floor, replacing the scoreboards and replacing the pads on the walls on the east and west ends of the gym. As a condition of the donation, Forward Bank’s logo will be on the floor in two places with the logo to measure 4 feet tall by 16.3 feet long. The logo will also appear on the scoreboards and a 12 inch by 12 inch logo on the corner of the wall mats.

School activities director Ryan Pilgrim explained to board members that the floor was due to be resurfaced and there were other projects that needed to be done in the gym. He sent a letter to the financial institutions serving the community giving them the opportunity to contribute to the projects.

He said Forward Bank stepped up with an offer of $50,000 for the floor and scoreboards and an additional $6,500 to replace the mats on the walls below the basketball nets. Pilgrim noted that within five years he expects the WIAA to require a shot clock in high school basketball which will be located above the nets, these will also be included in the planned upgrades covered by the donation.

The school district has had business sponsorship on the scoreboards in the past. Board president Dave Fleegel noted this is the first time they are giving pro- See GYM on page 4 motional space on the gym floor.

“The floor feels different to me,” Fleegel said, expressing hesitancy about putting the business logo there. He questioned what refinishing the floor is going to cost, noting that it is a maintenance project that it is the responsibility of the school district to do.

“We don’t go looking for sponsorship for every maintenance item we do,” he said, District administrator Pat Sullivan noted the bank wanted the visibility of being on the floor as part of the donation. He said it met WIAA regulations to have the business logo on the floor, something that in the past was not allowed.

Board member Brian Hallgren asked if there were other schools in the region with business logos on their gym floors. Pilgrim said he knows there are things on other gym floors, but was unaware of any business sponsorships.

As far as the cost breakdown, the scoreboards are estimated to be $41,194. The wall mats are $6,481 and $8,806 goes toward the floor costs. Of that, about $2,200 will be for the cost of the placement of the Forward Bank logos.

“I don’t have a problem with that at all,” Hallgren said of the logos to be placed on the floor. He said it should encourage the school to look further for that type of support for projects. He noted he has seen large signs at other schools’ football fields. Pilgrim noted it is common to see the business sponsorships especially at schools with turf fields.

Fleegel questioned if the floor was the highest priority. He said he felt the bleachers were a bigger deal than needing to redo the floor. The high school bleachers are original to the building. Fleegel noted they do not have grab bars or cut outs for people in wheel chairs. He said he would like the whole picture of what needs to be done.

The district is planning to do work on the bleachers including eliminating two rows of bleachers which will give more floor space during basketball games and events.

Other board members expressed support for accepting the donation in return for the advertising space.

“If someone wants to donate $56,000 to the school, I am not going to stand in their way,” said board member Steve Deml.

Board member Don Everhard agreed and noted that Forward has stepped up at other times in the past to support the school and said accepting the donation shows some loyalty from the school district to them.

Board member John Zuleger said he felt it was a good opportunity and might encourage others to donate toward other areas in the school.

In other business, board members:

 Approved a new contract with CESA for $58,533 for services provided by the regional school cooperative agency. It was noted that this was reduced a little from previous years as the district looks at the services they use from the agency versus having someone on staff provide them.

 Gave direction during the finance committee meeting for the district’s insurance brokers to begin negotiating plan options with Security Heath Plan for the health insurance renewal. School board members were warned to expect an increase with the usage rates for the past 12 months at 105% meaning more is being paid out in claims than collected in premiums with a handful of high cost claims skewing the overall average. Options the brokers will bring back to the board for the future may include adding more tiers, the development of a health reimbursement account option, and the option of a narrow-network Marshfield Clinic only option as ways to reduce premium costs.

 Received an update on the planned legislative dinner and forum scheduled for April 1. The annual event will bring school officials from throughout the region to Medford to interact with legislators from throughout the region on topics ranging from school start date to funding concerns.

 Approved a new district-wide copier contract with Bauernfeind for the district’s 5-year copier management contract. The increase will be about $5,000 more than the current contract.