Committee members Kirk Stott, Joy Alexander, Ellen Aylward, Ryan Bergeson Derek Weber and Dani Fromm received the Land and Water Conservation Grant check for $232,060 to help fund a new all-weather track at Scotland County R-I High School.

A Land and Water Conservation Grant (LWCF) through the Missouri Department of Natural resources (DNR) will help save local tax payers some dollars when a new all-weather track is constructed at the Scotland County R-I High School.

State officials announced last week that the school’s project was among the recipients of LWCF funding in a very competitive 2018 grant cycle that featured 40 applicants.

“Of those, nine projects were approved by the National Park Service for grant assistance in round one,” said  Missouri State Parks LWCF State Liason Ben Ellis. “It is quite an achievement by your agency to be recommended for funding. Congratulations on your selection.

A total of $6.6 million in funding was awarded to the nine grant recipients. Scotland County R-I will receive $232,060 which represents half the projected cost to construct a new track and field facility at the high school to host the school’s sporting events and also serve as an exercise opportunity for the entire community.

SCR-I Superintendent Ryan Bergeson stated the district hopes to construct a new all-weather track, expanding to an eight lane surface, which would allow the district to be considered to host district and conference competitions.

The cost of excavation to remove the existing track, site preparation work and laying an asphalt subsurface, combined with the all-weather surfacing, striping an synthetic overspray, is expected to surpass half a million dollars.

“This has been a two-year process to secure the grant funding, during which time the committee has also been working on a variety of fundraising ideas to help secure the necessary funding for the new facility,” said Bergeson.

While the group hopes to secure future financial donations, as well as in-kind labor pledges for the excavation and site preparation work, Bergeson said several fundraisers are in the works. He added that a number of ideas have also been discussed regarding the sale of memorial and dedicated bricks or paving stones to be part of a proposed new entrance to the facilities.

Bergeson said there are a number of excellent examples of such projects at schools SCR-I visits for football and track competitions such as Marceline and Putnam County.

The district must begin bidding, purchasing and/or developing the project and submit a reimbursement request before September 30, 2019 and the project must be completed by October 24, 2020 as part of the grant requirements. Extension requests are granted only in extenuating circumstances or legitimate need. Requests for a time extension must be made before your original project period expires to ensure funding remains available for the project.

Members of the committee that helped secure the grant along with Bergeson were Derek Webber, Joy Alexander, Ellen Aylward, Chris Kempke, George Koontz, Sam Berkowitz, Kirk Stott and Dani Fromm.

Anyone interested in contributing to the project can contact any of these committee members or the SCR-I Administrative office at 660-465-8531.