NA athletic fund taking shape

    The formation of a not-for-profit athletic foundation that would allow the school district to raise private funds for athletic department endeavors is taking shape, members of the North Adams school board learned at their monthly meeting Tuesday night.
    Board Attorney Scott Ainsworth said Indiana Code allows schools to organize and establish a foundation "for any legitimate educational purpose" of the district. Following up on discussions that began at last month's meeting, Ainsworth said he met recently with Coni Mayer, executive director of the Adams County Community Foundation. The foundation will serve as the overseeing agency for the new athletic fund, and Mayer will make a full presentation to the board at its April meeting.
    Ainsworth said a committee will be formed consisting of North Adams Superintendent Dr. Wylie Sirk, Athletic Director Dale Manis, Bellmont High School Principal Scot Croner, and one member of the school board. Three community members will round out the committee, which will be charged with establishing specific guidelines for the acceptance and disbursement of funds.
    "We are looking at structuring an entity that allows the solicitation of private funds, where those donations can be tax-deductible," Ainsworth said at last month's meeting. "In these economic times this seems to me to be a perfect vehicle for all community members who choose to do so to make contributions" to athletic endeavors."
    While discussions at the February board meeting centered primarily around the establishment of a fund to address athletic capital improvement projects, Ainsworth said Tuesday that "any athletic endeavor, not just facilities" could qualify for foundation funding.
    Talk of establishing an athletic foundation first surfaced in conjunction with  plans to renovate or replace Worthman Stadium. Business manager Larry Carty last month reported that an architectural estimate of $529,500 has been received "just to restore the facility to what it originally was — which never was sufficient."
    Sirk said he would "like to see something happening by next summer" at the stadium.

    In other business at Tuesday's board meeting, Carty said the school district has agreed to purchased up to three 84-passenger school buses from MacAllister Power Systems. Carty also said bids will be opened on April 4 for roof replacement projects at the middle and high school buildings.
    Work is to begin the week of Memorial Day and to be completed by Aug. 3. He told board members that bleachers at all North Adams buildings are also in need of "corrective repairs."
    In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignations of Ashley Light as high school assistant softball coach and Tony Myers as middle school football coach. Eugene Grote was assigned to the position of high school assistant softball coach for the current school year.