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Willow school board continues facility discussion with YMCA

The Willow Springs school board had further discussion with the Ozarks Family YMCA about a new facility at its monthly meeting Monday, April 11.
The YMCA had approached the school district about a partnership opportunity for using school property at its March meeting, and the school board requested more information.
The Willow Springs YMCA is part of the Ozarks Family YMCA group, which also includes the Cabool, Mountain Grove, and Seymour locations. Chad Watson, the group’s chief executive officer, was on hand for the school board meeting, along with branch manager Terri Elmore, and Derek Fredrick and Josh Henry, both members of the local YMCA board and the Ozarks Family YMCA executive board.
Those on hand emphasized they would like to partner with the district to construct a new facility on school property along West Tenth near Sassafras Street. Hopes are for a 27,000 square-foot facility which could include two practice courts, aerobics and cardio rooms, weight room, locker rooms, kitchen, and more. 
“We would like the school to partner with the YMCA to build something the community can be proud of,” Fredrick told the board. 
He said the local board has wanted to improve services for several years, including offering after-school childcare. “We can’t grow, and we can’t serve the community the way we need to,” he said.
Fredrick suggested that the board decide whether they’d like to help and determine how any agreements could be structured. As an example, he said, the Mountain Grove YMCA was constructed on school property, but is a city-owned building with programs run by the YMCA.
“If you have to give us a sunset, we understand that,” he said, meaning if construction hadn’t progressed in a certain amount of time, the working agreement could be nullified. “We’ve just got to start somewhere. We’re open for suggestions or help.”
High school principal Dr. Marty Spence was asked his opinion on the topic, as he will take the district’s helm as superintendent July 1.
“It’s intriguing,” said Spence. “We’d have to discuss the details…It could be a win-win.”
The board plans to discuss the issue further at its meeting in May.
In other business:
-New board members Jeff Lovan and Jeff Cunningham were sworn into office. They replace outgoing board president Tony Friga and board member Dean Aye. Superintendent Bill Hall called the evening’s meeting to order and presided over the board reorganization. On a motion by Brent Colley and seconded by Scott Foster, Mac Gum was elected president of the board. Matt Hobson was nominated for vice president, with a motion by Colley and seconded by Adam Webb. Scott Foster was elected as the district’s delegate to the Missouri School Board Association. Mandy Scarborough was appointed board secretary and Jaime Bryan was appointed treasurer. Superintendent Hall said the board would want to appoint its custodian of records at the July meeting after incoming superintendent Dr. Marty Spence is on board in his new role.
-The board was asked questions by community member Rachel Minton about a topic discussed at a recent forum for school board candidates. She asked who controls the district dress code and what is being done to address students wearing tails to school as an indicator of sexual preference. “What can possibly be done?” she asked. “Who controls the dress code?” Hall advised her to discuss the issue first with building-level administration, meaning the high school principal.
-The board heard its annual special education report from director Marlenia Baker. Hall also updated the board on pricing increases to staff benefits for the upcoming year, with health insurance increasing by 5 percent.
-The board accepted resignations from high school art teacher Megan Shultz, speech language pathologist assistant Brenley Smith, middle school keyboarding/careers instructor Melanie Wyatt, custodian June McCune, bus driver Sabrina Furry, paraprofessional Curtis Good, and Josh Owens, maintenance. Contracts of employment were offered to Christy Chaney, kindergarten; Travis Payne, weights, conditioning, and head football coach; Jennifer Payne, middle school keyboarding; Shaylee Welch, sixth-grade science; Rhea Cook, middle school special education; and Brad Siler, maintenance. Transfers of employment approved by the board included Vernieca Luerssen, fourth-grade teacher to elementary librarian; Heather Miller, sixth-grade science to sixth-grade social studies; and Angie Nelson, sixth-grade writing to seventh-grade math. Jason Holladay and Jacob Lunz were approved as substitute teachers.
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