With the new fitness center open to the public, the Waterloo School Board has agreed to expand the hours of operation. During the Feb. 10 meeting, the body voted to allow users to access the facility from 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., seven days a week. The change will be effective once the key card access system is in place.

Currently, the fitness center is open 5:30-8 a.m., Monday-Friday; 4-7:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday and Sunday. These are the hours the center is staffed.

When the facility was being constructed, fitness center and pool director Janessa Henning wanted to extend the hours the fitness area could be open. This would be made possible with a key access entry system.

District Administrator Brian Henning said there are a number of measures in place, including video monitoring, to allow people to use the facility when it is unstaffed.

“I don’t know if we have a lot of people who want to come in at 4:30 (a.m.) but they are welcome to,” he said.

According to Henning, Waterloo district custodians are in the buildings until 11:30 p.m. and would be able to ensure patrons are out of the fitness center and the doors are locked by 10:30 p.m.

Additionally, the administrator said it is the district’s goal to allow people to use the center during the day, even if it is being utilized by a physical education class.

“We feel that there is enough space, enough machines that if somebody was to come in and work out … they could both use the facility and not have any issues,” Henning said, noting if there is a significant number of people who want to use the center at the same time as a physical education class, the district may need to reevaluate this decision. “But everybody seems to be on the same page, that we can co-exist.”

The new hours do not apply to the pool or free weights area, both of which can only be used during staffed hours that will remain as is.

School calendars approved

It may only be February, but the district is already preparing the school calendars for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. The board approved the draft pair of calendars, noting the beginning of the 2020-2021 will be Sept. 1, the earliest allowable date for public schools to start the year. Children will have a four-day week before the three-day Labor Day weekend. The last day of the year will be June 4.

The first day of the 2021-2022 academic year will be Sept. 1, 2021, where students will have a three-day first but will be excused Sept. 6 for Labor Day. The last day of school is set for June 3, 2022.

Next year, winter break is scheduled to begin Dec. 24 with classes resuming Jan. 4, 2021; spring break will begin March 29, 2021 with classes resuming April 6, 2021.

The 2021-2022 calendar has winter break beginning Dec. 24, 2021 and classes will resume Jan. 3, 2022; spring break is slated to start March 28, 2022 with classes back in session April 4, 2022.

The board also:

• Approved extending the contract with Kobussen Transportation for 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. There will be no cost increase to the district. The last time the price of transportation services increased was during the 2016-2017 school year when it was raised by 3%.

• Accepted a $25,000 endowment from the Gene and Ruby Kegler family to start an annual scholarship for high school seniors attending a post-secondary institution and studying an agriculture-related field. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded annually beginning with the class of 2020.

• Heard from a group fifth and sixth grade students who, as part of a class project, decided to analyze the amount of time the children have for lunch and recess. The group recommended the district reevaluate the intermediate school schedule to allow for a longer lunch and recess period. The school board did not take any action on the proposal.

• Approved hiring Theresa Wyss as the grades 7-12 art teacher for the 2020-2021 school year to replace retiring teacher Nancy Schoeneman and Juan Garcia as the night custodian, effective Feb. 4.

• Approved the following spring co-curricular positions: Deb Braatz, head softball coach; Danielle Dorn, JV softball coach; Dennis Klubertanz, head baseball coach; Annan Davison, JV baseball coach; Shane Seefeld, head boys track coach; Josh Davison, JV boys track coach; Kaitlyn Everson, head girls track coach; Ryan Hassemer, JV girls track coach; and Luke Stayer and Lucas Annear, middle school track coaches.

• Set the dates for migrant summer school; 27 students are eligible to take part in the optional program with five to seven taking part during the 2019 summer school. Waterloo School District has the second-highest number of migrant students in the state.

• Reappointed Lynda Fourrier to serve on the Stremmer Scholarship Committee.

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