Physical education aimed at keeping young people healthy for a lifetime beyond dodge ball was presented to the Brainerd School Board Monday night.
Coleen Carder, physical education teacher at Brainerd High School, said the district has the opportunity to gain $200,000 worth of equipment to counteract the serious concerns of obesity in children.
The National School Fitness Foundation program has an option for schools to receive equipment to set up a cardiovascular and strength workout gym. The training is designed for a group of students to spend 20 minutes a day with cardiovascular work and some strength training.
To gain the equipment and training program, Carder said a certain number of students need to go through the program three days a week. Information gathered on their progress must be sent to the foundation, which then sends money to pay for the equipment leases.
There is a three-year contract and the equipment is serviced for free. At the end of the three years the equipment may be purchased for $1 or may be returned. Students work out a training schedule and use a computer to print out the proper weights to use for their individual plan.
Carder said a catch is that 15 schools in Minnesota need to be part of the program in order for it to start. She said if 15 schools participate, Brainerd will be first on the list. The program could begin here by fall.
And Carder said another plan is to offer the equipment for staff fitness as well. She said for most schools the question is whether there is space as 1,800 square feet is required as a minimum. Mississippi Horizons is a first option for the location of the fitness gym with a goal of all ninth-graders taking part.
Carder said her job is now to encourage other schools to take part in the program. Carder suggested the school board members could take part in a demonstration should everything fall into place.
Board member Bernie Roberts suggested a nearby emergency kit may be needed if that were to happen.
In other business, the school board heard an update on Forestview Middle School land preparation with current clearing for athletic fields. The project is underbudget and on time.
Approved structural steel bids from Ben's Tool and Iron Works Inc., Waite Park, for $608,600. There were seven bids for the project.
Agreed to reject all bids for steel erection and go out for new bids with a due date of March 11. Significant changes were made in design prompting new bids.
Approved a precast concrete wall panel bid of $441,355 with MNDak Concrete Inc., Grand Forks, N.D., one of three bids received.
Approved a USLink bid of $1,500,000 for fiber optics. The bid was one of six.
Approved a proposal from IEA, Brooklyn Park, for commissioning of the Forestview project for $98,200. It was one of three proposals.
Approved a custodial contract settlement. The Personnel committee meeting reached a tentative agreement with the custodial union on Jan. 21 for a wage increase of 1.5 percent for 2002-2003 and a 1.5 percent increase for 2003-2004.
Agreed to call for bids for health insurance administrative services. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is the current provider. The contract expires June 30. The last time the services went out for bids was 2000.
About 19 people attended the meeting Monday in the district offices in Brainerd.
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