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Osakis School Board hears tennis court update

The school board also discussed therapy dogs and Special Olympics.

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OSAKIS — The Osakis School Board heard an update on the status of the tennis courts at its regular meeting Monday, May 9.

Larry Bomstad of RA Morton said some concerns were raised by property owners adjacent to the courts, but that these issues have been resolved.

"A few of their concerns were water, and snakes inhabiting the retaining wall and fence on their property," he said.

One of the concerns was that water would back up or pool in the northwest corner.

"We have decided to install a 27-inch area drain with a beehive (grate) on there, with an 8-inch PVC line that shoots straight down to the future pond," Bomstad said.

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Additional drain tile has been installed underneath the tennis courts themselves, he said."What we identified as we were starting to dig was that we had standing water at sub-grade elevation," Bomstad said. "We had to figure out a way to get that out of there."

Snakes were another concern, he said.

"Initially we had that bid out as a modular block retaining wall with a drain tile system in there and pea rock," he said. "A concern was brought up about snakes inhabiting it, so we went back to the drawing board and came up with a monolithic cast-in-place retaining wall and sidewalk. What that will do is eliminate any gaps that (are) in the retaining wall, to let nothing inhabit it."

Bomstad also gave an update on the bus barn. There have been two cost increases, he said.

The first is an approximately $8,500 increase relating to the fire suppression system. The second is a $15,000 increase for further excavation and addition of rock.

Last week when footings were being dug, standing water was observed at the bottom of the footing elevation, which required 4 to 6 inches of rock being placed there, Bomstad said.

Therapy dogs

District superintendent Randy Bergquist also discussed the possibility of having therapy dogs at the school.

"A number of schools are utilizing therapy dogs," Bergquist said.

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He added that a former Osakis graduate is willing to train a couple of dogs if the school wants to use them next year or later.

"It's something we're kind of thinking about," he said.

Two district employees have dogs that have passed the initial screening, Bergquist said.

"The cost for this training is minimal compared with the impact it could have," said high school principal Brad Hoffarth, who added that therapy dogs have visited the school twice in the past year.

"The calming effect that those dogs had on both students and staff was amazing," he said.

Bergquist said more information will be presented at a future meeting.

Special Olympics

The school board also voted to move forward with participation in Special Olympics.

The board heard a presentation on participation from special education teacher Kaylie Waldvogel at its meeting last month.

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"I think it's a great opportunity for our students with special needs to be able to partake in those kinds of activities," Bergquist said.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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