Over the past two months the Ellendale School Board has been wrestling with the funding of alternate projects for the present construction project.  The five alternates were developed during the initial planning process as ways to enhance the basic project.  The alternate projects included a fitness/wrestling room addition, several special upgrades, and remodeling of parts of the old HS gymnasium.  You can find out more about the original five alternates here.

The board took extra time to determine which alternates would be funded to allow additional funds to be raised by the Ellendale School Foundation in hopes that all five alternates could be funded.   Leading up to the May board meeting the fitness/wrestling room addition was released for rebidding in an attempt to get a better construction bid of 496,000.  Personally, Mr. Mertz and I worked tirelessly to develop a construction plan that eliminated some extra materials to drive the total cost down to something I felt the foundation could raise and the district afford.  So at the May meeting everyone was anxious to hear what the new fitness/wrestling room bids would come in at and how many funds the foundation collected to achieve these goals.

At the May meeting the bids for the fitness/wrestling room were opened and the new bid price was down to $308,000.  In addition it was reported to the board that approximately $80,000 had been raised by the foundation.  A touch decision rested in front of the school board on which alternates to fund with these dollars.  I will admit it was a good discussion and everyone in the room wished additional funds would have been received to allow the district to have a shorter leap to make the fitness/wrestling room a reality.  Thus in the end the commitment of funds to make that single alternate a reality had to succumb to the limited funds and wishes of many that gave to see other alternates funded.

The board ultimately decided to fund the following alternates: Pressbox, Lobby Upgrade, and Gymnasium Coaches/Chair Room These alternates will cost approximately $70,000.  The board at that time decided to hold back a portion of the funds from the foundation for the future construction of the fitness/wrestling room and in hopes that these donations would be appropriate seed money to raise the funds to see this alternate be added to the facility at a time in the near future.

Ultimately you will see the three alternates noted above being completed immediately.  The fitness/wrestling room will not be constructed now but I want everyone to know every member of the school board, the administrative team, and I are very committed to seeing this alternate completed.  It will just take some continued fund raising and commitment of the school board.