Ottawa High School is poised to soon feature a girls golf team.
At their regular meeting Monday night, the USD 290 Board of Education heard from Brad Graf, OHS athletic director, on the possibility of adding the fall sport.
“Late February and into March, several young ladies approached me about, ‘Why we don’t have golf at the high school? It’s something that we would really like to do,’” Graf said. “These girls are excited.
“Initially there were two or three that came to me, and ultimately we have gotten 14 girls that have expressed interest.”
Graf expounded upon the advantages of adding girls golf to OHS’ athletic repertoire.
“I started talking to one of our golf coaches, who was a girls golf coach at Perry-Lecompton,” Graf said. “He talked about the advantages of scholarships and recognitions for girls. He said a number of community colleges were always contacting Perry-Lecompton, always trying to find girls to play golf.
Great Life Golf and Fitness, Ottawa, is open to partnering with OHS to facilitate the team, Graf said.
“[A team would] also it provided more exposure, not only for Ottawa high school, but for competitors,” Graf said. “It’s a lifelong sport, so it does promote health and fitness.”
A girls golf team would also balance out the gendered sport offerings at OHS.
“Right now we have six male-only sports, and we have five female-only sports,” Graf said. “We have three that you can classify as coed — cross country, track and field, and wrestling.”
Graf added the cost of adding the team would be on the lower end, compared to other sports, and comparable to funds spent on the boys golf team. The board plans to action on the item at their regular meeting May 13. If approved, OHS would be the fifth school in the Frontier League to offer girls golf.
Garfield Elementary is one step closer to its new pre-kindergarten building addition.
Monday night, the USD 290 Board of Education unanimously approved Loyd Builders’ guaranteed maximum price (GMP) of $1,580,416 for the pre-k addition. The board voted 5-1 in March to approve the addition.
The GMP is based on estimates from the construction bidding process, conducted by Loyd Builders. Josh Walker, Loyd Builders president, said a combination of work not originally included in the bid estimate — concrete curb, storm sewer work, and existing infrastructure updates — along with a seasonal softening of the construction bid market resulted in for the GMP’s nearly $1.6 million price tag, instead of the previously projected $1.4 million.
“Our hope is that this represents a worst case scenario, but our work doesn’t stop in terms of trying to save the district money and make sure it’s an efficient project,” Walker said, adding that cost savings might be found in the realm of infrastructure updates as the project progresses. “If you are just adding on, and all the infrastructure is in place, your cost per square foot goes down. But if you have to improve your infrastructure to facilitate the addition, then cost per square foot goes up.”