Below you will find a timeline of documentation taken from I-S School Board meeting agendas, minutes and excerpts from articles in the Waupaca County Post. Based on this information, my best guess is that the Tennis Association began fundraising after the December 2015 conditional approval. The board wasn’t concerned about the tennis courts for most of 2016, probably due to the upcoming referendum. At the October 10th board meeting, the Association mentions that they secured a sizeable donation on October 6th that allowed them to move forward with the project. The board is citing that the Association did not meet the October 1st deadline. If this is true, why did they allow them to move forward by clearing the land on October 10th? At which board meeting did the board decide that the tennis court location was no longer available?
Tennis Court Timeline
July 13, 2015, Regular School Board Meeting
There is no mention of the tennis court in the minutes for this meeting on the district website.
WaupacaNow.com July 23, 2015. Plans are moving ahead for building tennis courts on the Iola-Scandinavia School District’s newly acquired Krause property. “So far (the tennis group) has only been moving rocks around,” Jeffrey Oppor told the I-S School Board during its July 13 meeting. As chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, Oppor oversees the project. Some board members disagreed with Oppor’s statement and said the excavating company is leveling and compacting the area. “There are too many unanswered questions,” said board member Mike Koles. “We need a full plan of what it will look like.” “The board needs to decide what we exactly want to do with this lot,” said Board President Kristen Hoyord. “What if the school needs that space later for something?” an audience member asked. Even with the tennis courts built in the upper area of the Krause property, “there will still be plenty of green space,” said District Administrator David Dyb. “If we are going to build it, we have one chance to get it right,” said Koles.
Another audience member asked if there will be enough space to expand the parking area. A staff member suggested that the board develop a long-range master plan for building and grounds improvements. The board agreed to ask the tennis group to provide detailed plans, including a drainage plan, and that these plans must be approved before continuing with excavation.
September 14, 2015, Regular School Board Meeting
In the September 24, 2015 issue of the Waupaca County Post, the article stated: Dyb reported there is no update on the tennis courts, because no tennis group representative attended the Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting, as requested. “The group is developing plans and a timeline, which will need to be approved by the board,” Dyb said. There is no mention of the tennis courts in the minutes of the meeting.
November 9, 2015, Regular School Board Meeting
Tennis Court plans attached to the school board agenda. The minutes contain the following information: Tennis Court – preliminary plans – Keith Williams from the Tennis Court Association presented a powerpoint on their proposal. A discussion then took place in regards to the building of the tennis courts. Next meeting the board has requested the following information from the Tennis Court Association: an engineer report regarding the drainage system, potential additional parking spaces that could be generated, potential ball field placement, and PE teacher input. A motion was made by Mr. Wavruk and seconded Mr. Oppor to have a formal survey done by an engineer for drainage purposes with any cost being paid by the Tennis Court Association. Motion carried 7-0.
December 16, 2015, Special Board Meeting
Tennis Court Project discussion: A motion was made by Mr. Oppor and seconded by Mr. Beyersdorf to conditionally approve the Tennis Court Site Plan, motion carried. Dr. Dyb will draft assurances and conditions discussed into a memorandum of understanding for discussion at January board of education meeting. The Waupaca County Post dated December 30, 2015 states the following regarding this meeting: 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. 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. 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.
January 11, 2016, Buildings and Grounds Committee
A draft of the Tennis Court Memorandum of Understanding was attached to the agenda. There are no minutes for this meeting on the district website.
January 21, 2016, Regular School Board Meeting
Although this was not mentioned in the school board minutes from the January 11, 2016 meeting, the article in the Waupaca County post stated: The board discussed the memorandum of understanding agreement with the I-S Tennis Association. There were concerns about the timeline and liability associated with construction.
Between the January 21st and the September 12th meeting, there are no line items on any of the agendas regarding the tennis project.
September 12, 2016, Regular School Board Meeting
The minutes state the following regarding the tennis court project: Tennis Court Project Update – board requested Dr. Dyb present the tennis court association (Keith Williams) with a deadline of October 1, 2016 to provide an update on the status of building these courts. Request was made that a sign be provided at the tennis court site stating that it is being funded by the Tennis Court Association. In the September 21, 2016 article in the Waupaca County Post, the following was reported: There has been no progress on the Iola-Scandinavia tennis courts. District Administrator David Dyb told the school board Sept. 12 that he has not heard anything from Keith Williams, a representative of the local tennis group. Board members expressed concern about the project ever being completed. “We should give (the tennis group) a deadline date,” Beyersdorf said. Board President Kristen Hoyord said the area should be developed as green space “if they can’t come up with the money to at least start the (tennis court) project.” She noted there was never any written agreement returned from the tennis group.
February 13, 2017, Regular Board Meeting
No minutes are posted on the website yet. From the Waupaca County Post: Koles asked that he be allowed to discuss the tennis court project at an upcoming meeting of the Building and Grounds Committee. “I have ideas where to place the tennis courts,” he said.
February 27, 2017, Buildings and Grounds Committee Meeting
No minutes are posted. The following was on the Waupacanow.com website, February 28, 2017: Committee member Mike Koles asked that the upgrade be reconsidered. “If we were to choose to put a tennis court (in that location), we would need to move the playground to the east,” he said. This proposed site for the tennis courts has not been discussed with the Iola Tennis Group, said School Board President Kristen Hoyord, who was in attendance as an observer. It was also the first time others in attendance had heard about the proposed site, including High/Middle School Principal Sara Anderson and Facilities Director Jim Spencer. Spencer said there could be some problems putting the tennis courts in that spot because of a ditch and drainage issues. “I think the community wanted (the tennis courts) close to the fitness center,” Hoyord explained. “You would be taking green space away from the kids,” Anderson objected. She said the space was needed by the fourth through sixth graders.