383 board hears discussion on parks and rec improvements

Members of the USD 383 board of education heard an update on proposed parks and recreation improvements that were discussed at a Manhattan City Commission work session last week. On Wednesday evening, deputy city manager Jason Hilgers told board members about the resolution passed by city commissioners that allows a ballot measure to be prepared for the November election. The quarter-cent sales tax increase would fund $27.5 million in parks improvements — including the addition of two city-owned gymnasiums being built at Susan B. Anthony and Dwight D. Eisenhower middle schools.

Hilgers unveiled a timeline for the projects that was also introduced last week. If the sales tax increase is approved by voters, the design process for the gymnasiums would begin next year with construction being completed by 2021. The two gymnasiums would cost a combined $16 million. Hilgers and board members talked about the need for coordination between the two groups when both the district and parks and recreation department will need to use the facilities.

In new business, the board approved the purchase of $244,000 in textbooks for next school year. A $77,000 contract was also awarded to Parsons Communications, of Manhattan, for network infrastructure upgrades at Susan B. Anthony Middle School which will be completed this summer.

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