Cashless ticketing possible for school district events

The Red Oak School Board is not in favor of a proposal that would see the district shift to a cashless ticketing system for interscholastic events for the 2022-23 school year, as well as require ticket prices to increase by $1.
At the regular Red Oak School Board meeting May 23, superintendent Ron Lorenz said the Hawkeye 10 Board of Control will soon to vote on whether or not to implement universal online ticketing at all conference events. While the activity directors have already passed the measure, it is now up to that board to ratify or not. Lorenz said if it is passed, the district will have no choice but to follow suit. The platform the district would be using is Varsity Bound, and they have a service charge of 83 cents per transaction, so the increase would cover that fee. Lorenz said a board consensus was important, as the principals of the districts in all of the conference schools sit on the board.
“Nate Perrien is one of the members of that board, so this is an opportunity for the board to get its thoughts out there and help Perrien as he prepares to cast his ballot. The passing or failing is based on a majority vote. I know there are other districts who are against this,” explained Lorenz.
One of the problems with the change over to completely online, Lorez said, was that not everyone is familiar with online ticketing.
“There are some older individuals, or people like myself that are technologically challenged who may struggle a bit, and there have already been discussions about having computers available to get some help getting tickets prior to the event. Hoever, we’ve been through this kind of thing with COVID-19, and the bugs are starting to be worked out,” Lorenz said.
One benefit for the district was that it would help the district bolster its cash controls.
“Every year when we have our audit, we get dinged for our cash handling and making sure there are multiple people checking and balacing transactions, so taking the cash aspect out of it would benefit us in that regard, and we would also be able to reduce the number of volunteers required to take tickets,” Lorenz said.
If approved, it would not affect the students at Red Oak games, as they are provided activity passes. However, if they traveled to other districts, they would have to pay.
“My understanding is that the person has to go online, purchase a ticket, and they get something downloaded to their phone, or that could be printed, and they would present that to enter the games,” advised Lorenz.
Lorenz added if the proposal was approved, it was an all-or-nothing proposal, and all the districts in the conference would be required to move to the cashless system. He also felt that he would be one of the people who would struggle with using the online system.
The board’s direction was to advise Perrien to vote against the proposal once the Board of Controls met, citing issues with the fact that the change would be immediate and there would be no transition period from the cash-based system to the new cashless system.

The board then discussed naming finalists and setting up an interview process for facilities assessments and long-term planning proposals. There were nine proposals submitted to the district by architects, and Lorenz said based on the selection criteria, there were three firms that stood out among the firms that showed interest.
“The three firms that we’re proposing to the board are Alley Poyner Macchietto Architects, Insight Design and Denovo Construction Services, and CMVA Developers. We’re recommending that the three groups bring their principal team members to present to the board June 13, with a 20 minute presentation and 10 minutes reserved for questions,” Lorenz explained.
Lorenz requested that the board members submit questions to him to compile into a list to be asked of each firm, so that way there was no question of any of the firms receiving preferential treatment. Also, a decision may not be required June 13.
“As of now, we’re proposing that June 13 not be the action time. The board could elect to have some time for individual deliberation and then come back on June 27 and make a final decision on approval or denial of the proposal, since there is not a pressing need for the board to take immediate action,” Lorenz commented.
The board was in agreement to meet with the three firms, as presented, on June 13, with the understanding that it would have the option to approve one of the proposals or deny all three proposals depending on the outcome of the presentations and the overall board discussion.
The Board also discussed awarding a custodial contract for FY2023. The board approved awarding the contract to JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting of Omaha, as they were the highest rated of the three companies offering a proposal. Cost will be $450,000 for the first year, $465,000 in the second year, and $480,000 for the third year. The company was $13,000-$24,000 cheaper than what the district’s current service provider would charge moving forward.
In other business, the board:
• Approved setting adult activity fees at $80 for single and $130 per couple for the 2022-23 school year. Lorenz said it had been years since the prices had been increased, and due to rising costs, a price increase was necessary. The district’s prices were still lower than other comparable districts in the area.
• Approved setting school  fees for the 2022-23 school year at $40 for kindergarten through sixth grade and $60 for seventh through twelfth grade.
• Approved a revision to the guidance counselor sharing agreement with the East Mills School District for the 2022-23 school year allowing more usage for East Mills.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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