President of the Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of the Symphony of the Canyons Betty Colston made an interesting and impassioned presentation to the School Board at the August 9 meeting of the Kane County Board of Education. Colston, with the support of Symphony of the Canyons Director Kortney Stirland and Kane County Office of Tourism Director Ken Gotzenburg, proposed an idea for the use of the old Kanab Middle School (KMS) to refurbish it to create a multi-use performing arts and conference center. Such a center could house the Symphony of the Canyons and Canyon Singers, provide a needed banquet room with adjoining kitchen to seat 500 people in rounds, event hall with stage and large projection screen capable of theatre seating for up to 1000, conference rooms, breakout rooms with theatre seating for up to 100, offices, storage, and Hall of Fame for the history of the building and people. As it is located in the heart of Kanab, the KMS site is considered to be a perfect location for such a center.

Colston said the district would be able to draw on the resources of such entities as the Kane County Office of Tourism, the Symphony of the Canyons and Canyon Singers, The Chamber of Commerce Board and members, the Center for Education, Business, and the Arts (CEBA), Kanab City and local established event planning services; in moving forward with the proposal.

Colston explained such a center would increase tourism to the area as corporate retreats and top producer recognition events, and organizational annual meetings, conferences and conventions would be drawn to Kanab, and likely stay longer.

Gotzenberg addressed the board noting tourism is a self-perpetuating industry crucial to the economy of Kane County. The area now requires a larger venue to accommodate larger groups, and the county will be looking to build or utilize existing facilities (such as the old KMS building pursuant to this proposal), and is interested in a joint venture with the school district and city. The plan is to “court” events to come to Kanab, bringing business to the community.

Stirland spoke of his love for the center of Kanab, and his desire to keep it vibrant by having such a facility remain there. He also briefed the board on the Symphony’s ongoing efforts to provide scholarships to music students involved with the Symphony.

Tyler Houston pitched an idea to the school board to create a first class stadium/softball and baseball complex with wrap-around seating near the new Kanab Middle School, in order to expand the area’s ability to hold tournaments and enable the schools’ teams to play more games locally. He informed the board that Major League Baseball has grant funding for just this type of project, with some criteria focused on improving programs for children and women or minorities. Houston said having such a complex would make getting concessions easier and more lucrative.

Houston added that having a high quality facility would enable Kanab to hold tournaments, which would be good for the community, bringing in people and business.

The board authorized him to do more preliminary research, moving toward potential plans and cost estimates.

The school board discussed various ways to help students who have won state competitions and wish to attend national competitions in vocational organizations such as Future Farmers of America; Family, Career & Community Leaders of America; and Skills USA; with the costs of attending such national events.

The board intends to set up a policy and process to do this. Superintendent Bob Johnson will check with other school districts for their ideas and policies.

A proposed five-cent increase in the cost of school lunch was discussed at length, as the district school lunch program has struggled to operate in the black. It was noted that the Free and Reduced lunch program, which gives families with limited income free or reduced cost school breakfasts and lunches for their students, that makes it difficult for the district to break even on costs, even with the money it receives from the federal government for the program.

About 50% of the students in Kane District receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch benefits. The board discussed raising the price more than the proposed five cents, but after it was stated that the schools had already sent out the beginning of the school year information packets showing the five-cent increase, the board approved that proposed increase.

In other business, the board, still in their long journey of policy review, approved policies FF, FFC, and FG, and tabled consideration of Extra Duty Policy DDAA. They approved one home school application and a guardianship application.

They also approved a contract for the district to participate in the Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC) program, a federally funded program that allows districts to be reimbursed for some of their costs associated with school-based health and outreach activities, which are not claimable under the other Medicaid Direct Service Claiming program.

A college fee schedule for the Southwest Applied Technology College (SWATC) was presented to the board as required each year.