Rippey gym, GJ softball field to be taken out of school use

The Greene County Schools board of education at its Sept. 20 meeting took steps to end the responsibility and cost of two athletic facilities, and also agreed to an increase in the rent the district pays to use another facility.

In separate actions, the board voted to discontinue use of the Rippey gymnasium and the Grand Junction softball field.

Christensen recommended ending use of Rippey gym before the winter sports season.

The gym was used last year for 14 middle school basketball games and three or four practices. This year, the Heart of Iowa Activities Conference is splitting the middle school basketball season, with the boys season before the winter break and the girls season after. With that change, the school doesn’t need the space in Rippey.

When the East Greene board of education had the 3-story school demolished and retrofitted the gym as a stand-alone building, the board gave the gym to the city of Rippey. The agreement was that the district would maintain it and pay for utilities as long as the school needed the space.

Christensen said the cost of utilities and maintenance on the gym was about $11,000 last year.

The board accepted the recommendation unanimously.

The board also slated a public hearing required to sell the former East Greene softball field to the city of Grand Junction for $1.

Christensen and the Grand Junction city council had discussed that possibility previously, but a decision was awaiting a legal opinion about the wording of the document donating the property to the EG district decades ago. The city intends to maintain it as a park, meeting the specifications of the donation. The public hearing will be held at the Oct. 18 school board meeting.

The board has not talked about discontinuing use of Karber Field in Grand Junction for seventh and eighth grade football games.

The board also okayed an increase from $11,000 per year to $15,000 for using the Field House in Jefferson. The school has used it the past four years primarily for wrestling practices. Earlier this summer the Greene County Youth Athletic Association purchased the building from Jeff Schroeder and hired Mitch Moore, also school activities director and head football coach, as trainer at the facility.

Along with wrestling practices, student athletes use the Field House for baseball batting practice, and the varsity football team has dressed there for games this fall.

The lease payment comes from physical plant and equipment levy funds.


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