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Fieldcrest to Hire Private Security for Football Games

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - Posted 8:56:38 PM
The Fieldcrest Board of Education voted to hire a private security firm for Fieldcrest football games in Minonk at their Wednesday night meeting. Fieldcrest Superintendent Dr. Dan Oakley said he can hire security personnel for $25 an hour plus transportation cost. 

Initially, the board rejected a motion to have the Minonk Police Department provide security with board members Scott Hillenburg and Tim McNamara the only ones voting for the motion. Board members Elizabeth Palm and Kimberly McKay said they wanted to have security at the games that can be counted on stating that Minonk police could be called away on duty during the games. Board members Scott Hillenburg and Charles Lohr voted against hiring a security firm. Mr. Lohr said "you are opening up a can or worms if you hire an outside firm because you don't know what you are getting."

Dr. Oakley discussed the downward trend in Fieldcrest enrollment. The enrollment for this year is 1001 which is down from the previous year. Enrollment has been on a steady decline since 2002 when the enrollment was 1331. Current projections show that enrollment will be down to 827 by 2022.

The average class sizes shown below illustrate the downward trend in student enrollment

Grade Ave Class Size
9-12 88.2
Middle 78.7
Intermediate 70.3
Primary 59.7

Dr. Oakley said the major reasons for students leaving are
  • families in flux
  • job related issues
  • issues related to poverty
Dr. Oakley said he was pleased to learn that very few students moved because of better opportunities for living and/or education.  He said the western part of Woodford County is not declining because of its proximity to Peoria.  But he said the enrollment decline is moving faster than anticipated.  He said the impact on the school district will have the following effects:
  • more empty building space
  • decline in State aid and grants
  • reduced ability to offer curricular and extra curricular programs
  • drop in staffing
For more statistics on the enrollment decline, click here.

The board discussed informally the possibilities of merging with other school districts to offset the problems associated with a declining enrollment.  Dr. Oakley said merging with other school districts will save money but it will enable the school districts to offer a more broad curriculum.

In other business Dr. Oakley said an additional $49,000 was needed to complete the repair of the old gymnasium north wall.  He said insurance will cover $10,000 of the cost and the remainder by funds from the Life Safety Fund.

Board member Charles Lohr said the water and gas bill at the Wenona school building is 8 times greater than the bills at the other school buildings and wanted to address that issue.  He said he has contacted a person who is willing to do a free inspection of the building in an attempt to determine the cause of the excessive use of gas.  Dr. Oakley asked Mr. Lohr to have the inspector contact him.


Josh Jones: School doesn't have any money but some how when it comes to football there's no trouble finding money! Maybe if fieldcrest wants to keep sports the parents should pay for there kids gear and whatever else is required for the sport.
Chris Perry: Or the kids do some fundraising.
Mindy Johnson: Football does do fundraising and the parents do pay for their kids to play... i'm pretty sure the football team didn't ask for the security to be there.
Josh Jones: Do the students/parents pay for there helmets, pads, jerseys, etc?
Josh Jones: Get rid of football and bring back some trades classes! Something that is gonna help alot more kids in the future then playing sports.
Mindy Johnson: There's a touchdown club that raises the money to pay for the football program
Mindy Johnson: This year the football field got a watering system and timeclocks due to fundraising
Josh Jones: So no money is provided from the school? If that is the case good deal. I'll put it like this. If my family doesn't have the money to pay our bills we don't go on vacation just because our kids want to. Why shouldn't the school work on the same principle?
Mindy Johnson: I'm not saying the school doesn't pay for part of the football program, I honestly don't know. But before we just go cut it we better look at all the other things that make money at the football games. The Junior class sells 50/50 to help pay for prom. The booster club sells porkchops and ads from the programs to raise money for lots of things at the school. Different groups run the concession stand to make money for their clubs. Ticket sale money and season pass money supports something. So just maybe cutting football would have a negative effect on lots of other things. Just my opinion, and I would love to see the school have more trade classes! Unfortunately the state and school just can't afford them.
Jack McDonough: I don't think that there is a need to get rid of football, as I just graduated two years ago and jumped right into working a trade, I learned plenty through football. Yes, some trade classes would be nice, but there are more life lessons a kid will learn through football than anything else and I'm one of those kids. Also, I would imagine that football brings a pretty good amount of money in on its own. Football is not the problem here, but I certainly don't think security is necessary.
Chris Perry: Not to hard to figure out the water usage when they water the baseball diamond. Dee Ragusa Who owns the field Fieldcrest or the city of Minonk, last I knew it was the city
Tina Dunning Yes the city of Minonk owns the football field. But the baseball diamond in Wenona I beilieve is owned by the school.
Chris Perry As far as I know the baseball field in wenona is all fieldcrest.
Tina Dunning: I'm also really concerned with the fact that the Wenona's school water & gas bills are 8 times more than the other schools!!! Good job to the board for looking into this Erica Jarrod Bane: I think that would be a discussion on some other topic rather than that on security at a football game!
Tina Dunning: Right, it was all in the minutes though if you click on it
Nicole Embery: How does that happen exactly? Especially when 2 of my kids have reported water fountains not working...

Julie Cunningham-Perry Carpenter: What is going on at football games that needs security? Good grief.
Brieanne Armstrong: Here's a thought, maybe parents should be watching their kids while at the game instead of hiring someone to!!!