October 6, 2012 • Athletic Administration

A Small School’s Project Is BIG For The Community

Sauk Centre’s 3 Steps To Success

Dan Brooks, the superintendent of Sauk Centre Public Schools (Minn.), says there are three keys to the success of his district’s $2 million outdoor athletic facilities renovation.

1) Preplan. Preplan. Preplan. “You need to spend up to five times as much time on the front end of a project than you think,” Brooks explains. “Go on site visits and know what you want. Change orders kill projects like this.”

2) Be Transparent. Brooks says to involve the community during every step of the process. Don’t attempt to shield them. “Listen to your focus groups. Make the architects and engineers available to answer questions from the community,” he adds.

3) Build A Team. While there typically are a few leaders to a renovation project, it’s comes down to the old sports cliché of “being a team.” Brooks says the contractors and consultants are the experts so you have to let them do their thing. “Our project always had the sense that we all were coming together to fix our facility. Everyone took the time to work together, which made things run smoothly.”

Manufacturers Utilized By Sauk Centre

The following is a list of some of the manufacturers used by officials involved with the Sauk Centre Secondary School (Minn.) outdoor athletic facilities renovation.

  • Turf: FieldTurf
  • Track Surface: Beynon
  • Scoreboards: Daktronics
  • Fencing: Century Fence
  • Seating: Seating And Athletic Facility Enterprises

Have A Contingency Plan In Place

Sauk Centre Secondary School (Minn.) moved on the fast track to get its outdoor athletic renovations completed. Superintendent Dan Brooks says this was a six- to eight-month process they crammed into three to four months in an attempt to get everything done during the summer.

As with most renovations, things come up and everything doesn’t go exactly according to plan. Rick Fischer, Sauk Centre’s athletic director, originally expected the football stadium (with new FieldTurf, bleachers and lighting to be installed) to be ready for the season-opening football game Sept. 7.

Fischer, however, knew this deadline date would be pushing the limits. He says he kept expectations guarded and had a contingency plan in place months ahead of time in the case the stadium wasn’t ready or deemed safe for fans by Sept. 7.

In the final weeks of the project, it became clear a few more weeks were needed to finalize the stadium. Due to this delay, Sauk Centre agreed to play its first two conference games, which were scheduled to be at home, on the road (Sept. 7 against Montevideo and Sept. 14 against Morris Area). The games are not true road games in the sense Sauk Centre is not stuck footing the bill.

“We worked with both schools and they are picking up the cost of officials. They also will pay our mileage,” Fischer explained. “They honored our fans’ activity cards for admission.”

Fischer says another option was to rent a facility but with the hope of playing the game at home, renting a facility at the last-minute wasn’t going to work.

“We felt we would be able to play at home. I received final word on Aug. 28 that we were unable to get ready in time. Short notice means quick solutions,” Fischer says.

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