Board will develop policy for naming school facilities

By John McLoone

The Hastings School Board Policy Committee will take a look at the possibility of facilities or areas of school being named after someone.

Policy Committee Chair and Director Stephanie Malm said the matter came up when it was suggested the pool at Hastings Middle School be named after Kimberly Olson.

Olson, 64, died on Nov. 30. She was a longtime coach for the Hastings Area Swim Team and was inducted into the Minnesota Swimming Hall of Fame in 2014.

“We had a community member asking us to consider naming the middle school pool after Kimberly Olson, who passed away in Nov. 2021 and who was instrumental to all of our kiddos who took swimming lessons,” said Malm. “How do we want to respond to the community member? Do we want to name the pool? Do we want to talk about the criteria for naming facilities?”

Board members echoed the opinion that a policy should be put in place.

“If we are going to move forward with naming things, I think that it’s important that it’s publicly known we are looking for options of what we’d like to name and give them adequate time for them to provide their input and suggestions,” said Director Carrie Tate.

“To paraphrase that, Director Tate, it sounds as if you would be a proponent of establishing a policy for naming?” asked Director Lisa Hedin.

“Yes, I think,” said Tate. “We obviously have names for several things already. There may come time when we want to rename things for some reason. I do think it’s a good idea to have a policy in place.”

Chair Brian Davis concurred. “I tend to agree with that. It could come up. We need to have a policy established and a way to have the community communicated with on what’s going on here. Anything could come up. It’s important to establish a policy that encompasses that,” he said.

Courtesy bus routes

The board approved new courtesy bus routes, which allows students who go to Hastings Middle or High School a place to catch a ride to school at no charge.

The new routes were developed to consolidate some previous stops but to also allow students who don’t want to walk all the way to school to walk to one of the stops.

“The big picture of this is we are looking at the number of stops that we have, and this does,” said McDowell. “It is a savings on transportation, and it helps us logistically with our buildings and buses showing up to buildings on time.”

Hedin praised the plan. “I just want to highlight that I think this proposed modification is indicative of the district office and administration constantly being aware and bringing these changes forward,” she said. “No student will have to walk across a highway. There will be alternatives provided to them. This is an example of good work from the district office.”

Director of Business Jennifer Seubert said staff rode the route with the Hastings Bus Company and said that additional stops could come in the future near borders of where the district is required to bus students.

August 3, 2022