HPC revisits athletic co-op options

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■ Co-op committee presents findings to board of education

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During Monday’s High Plains Community School’s Board meeting the co-op committee presented information gained from a meeting with Osceola school officials.

The board has been in talks with Osceola in regards to a possible athletic co-op for both high school and junior high students.

“The discussion of all high school activities there and junior high here was part of their survey,” reported Jamie Gustafson, board secretary. “We talked about a partnership, not being absorbed by anyone.”

She informed the board that Osceola wanted to utilize its new building, but she wanted them to understand that they wouldn’t always have the better facility.

“They didn’t want to stay with the current conference,” she explained. “They want a different competition level. They said that if we’re a C school we would have better competition by moving to a higher level.

“We told them this is what we want to do,” she continued. “We can’t move forward unless there’s an agreement. We asked in the meeting that they come back with a proposal. This is a need not a want and the board is willing to move forward with talks with other places if they aren’t willing to move.”

Board President Paul Van-Housen voiced concern that they had talked in March and that there was still no action.

“We need a yes or no moving forward if it’s a possibility,” he said. “We need to have 50/50, even if the timelines differ.”

Terry Carlstrom, board vice president, added that the potential co-op wouldn’t begin this year or next, with Osceola looking to start in two years to be on the same schedule as football.

“July 31 is the deadline for volleyball,” Gustafson noted. “There is nothing that we could do at this point.”

Board member Shane Van Pelt voiced his concern on the schools not having a 50/50 split.

“Who’s to say in five years if we do a big addition, how does that play out for us?” he asked. “I don’t understand waiting because they are going to be in the same boat we are in a couple years. We need to start it, get the ball rolling and everyone used to each other. Not splitting 50/50, I don’t feel like that’s a co-op.”

“I couldn’t go away with not 50/50,” Nate Spurling said. “The timeframe is something I struggle with. I want to do it starting with basketball. I could maybe do a year, but I couldn’t do two years.”

Gustafson explained that the Osceola board is aware that if they still disagreed on the matter that High Plains was going to start talking to other school districts.

Supt. Brian Tonniges added that he had reached out to Hampton. He said that they were still interested and that they would continue to have co-op discussions.

The board and the co-op committee will continue to meet to discuss possible coop options for various athletic activities. At this time no action was taken.

‘We need a yes or no moving forward if it’s a possibility. We need to have 50/50, even if the timelines differ.’

Paul VanHousen

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