MFL MarMac to contribute to Turner Park improvements

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The MFL MarMac School Board agreed Monday evening at its monthly meeting to contribute $20,000 of local option sales tax funds toward phase I of McGregor’s Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages project through a 28E agreement, which would allow the school to use the park for activities and practices.

Plans for improvements at Turner Park, which is located by the MFL MarMac McGregor Center, began after a tornado hit the area in spring 2013, damaging the equipment. Community members were surveyed to determine the components they wanted to see incorporated into the project, which is split into four phases. The first phase is a quarter-mile long, 10-foot-wide asphalt track that will run around the perimeter of the park. Members of the Turner Park Committee, Maria Brummel and Carole Stripe, attended the meeting, asking for the school’s support for this phase, as the track could be utilized for physical education classes, sports practices and other school activities.

Additional park plans include constructing a nature-inspired playground in phase II; sports field improvements, the building of a concession stand, picnic area additions and expanded parking in phase III; and the establishment of a splash pad, a shade structure, additional seating and a recycled play area in the final phase.

“It’s for the very young to the very old,” Brummel said, noting that few projects are able to span that age range, “but this one does.”

Brummel said the project has received support from a broad spectrum of the community, including the middle school’s Stu Crew (student council), which donated $3,000 raised from a dance marathon toward the purchase of a swing set.

“It indicates how supportive and interested the kids are in this project,” she added.

The school has worked with communities on several endeavors over the years, including the child care centers in Monona and McGregor, as well as the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre in Marquette, all with success, noted Superintendent Dale Crozier.

Website

Teacher librarian Melissa Haberichter, who is part of the district’s 21st Century Skills Committee that is working to develop the new school website, updated the board on the progress of the site, which she hoped will be ready to go by registration time.

The new website will be less cluttered and more easily traversed, she said. It will also be mobile-friendly.

“The goal is three clicks or less to get you where you need to be,” she explained.

Created by the company Global Reach, of Ames, the website will feature several drop-down options, including one to access the three school centers, as well as others for district-wide information like reports and info about the school board, community groups and parent information like bill paying, grades and forms. The homepage will feature a rotating photo slideshow along with quick links, events and news sections.

A new feature on the page will be an updated Bulldog logo. Haberichter said, during the website design process, the group was asked to submit a school mascot, but found the task difficult. While the Bulldog is well-represented, it’s rarely depicted in the same form. In the Monona buildings alone, she noted, around 20 different images were used.

As a result, they went to MFL MarMac alumna and designer Sarah Schultz, who’s headquartered in Luana, to design several options, on which students and staff voted. A bulldog with two teeth showing out of its jowels was selected. A circle formed around the bulldog contains the words MFL MarMac Bulldogs, making the logo look more like an official seal.

Haberichter said Schultz devised several color options for the design, allowing for creativity when the logo is used. There are also options to use just the Bulldog, without any wording. No one will be required to use the new version, but Haberichter said it will be available to those who would like to do so.

Haberichter said she’s most excited because the Bulldog will be an MFL MarMac original.

“It’s ours,” she said. “It will be nice to have something MFL MarMac, not just a bulldog pulled off Google images.”

Crozier said one goal the district’s School Improvement Advisement Committee (SIAC) listed in its recently-created five-year plan was better marketing of the district. The creation of a more uniform bulldog will aid in that, he said.

Meal prices

The board approved raising the school lunch price by 10 cents and breakfast 5 cents for the coming year.

Summer program

McGregor Center Principal Denise Mueller said she received a grant to offer reading, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and physical education courses for students throughout June. The program began last week.

Donations

Elementary Principal Kathy Koether said, through the help of generous donations to the school, students were able to receive five winter coats, 30 pairs of snow pants, 30 pairs of boots, 50 hats, 50 pairs of mittens, two pairs of shoes and school supplies last year.

“That really made a difference for families and students,” she said.

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