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Your Materials for Dallas StarsCenter Discussion Tonight

Feb 18, 2016 12:12PM ● Published by Kevin

Photo courtesy of Mansfield ISD.

Mansfield ISD has called a board meeting tonight, Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. The proposed StarsCenter will be discussed. Below is a quick guide to the information available so you can be adequately prepared for the meeting. There are also PDFs to download and print above. We will update this guide and upload more materials as more unfolds, if necessary.

Recent Background

  • The City of Mansfield approved the project to build the $12.6 million Dallas Stars ice rink. It would operate near Broad Street off of 287.
  • City Council has agreed to give $12 million. The
  • In order for the rink to be built, the district must contribute $500,000 up front. It would then contribute $1.3 million over the course of five years (for conditional use by the school: field trips, skating camps, fitness programs). The initial money is proposed to come out of natural gas revenue.
  • The facility would encompass 80,000 square feet.
  • Members of the Mansfield Parents for Reasonable Change Facebook Group are mostly opposed to approving the facility.
  • There is another Facebook group that favors the facility's approval with 768 members at the time of writing.
Information courtesy of CBS DFW (http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2016/02/17/12-6m-mansfield-ice-rink-on-thin-ice/) and WFAA8 (http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/tarrant-county/mansfield-isd-weighs-ice-arena-investment/46058867)

District Communication

Dear MISD Community:

As you may have heard, the Dallas Stars, the City of Mansfield, and the MISD are considering a partnership to bring a Dallas Stars Ice Center to the City of Mansfield. If approved, the location of the StarCenter would be off of 287 between Broad Street and Walnut Creek near the athletic fields.  Many in our community have asked really great questions about this potential partnership, and I would like to respond to those.

Why is the district considering participating in this partnership?

This partnership expands educational opportunities for our students and enhances the quality of life in our community. Our students will have many opportunities such as: field trips for all levels, potential internships, physical fitness programs, employment opportunities, appearances by Stars players, mascots, etc.

If this is approved, how much money will this cost the district?

$1.8 million dollars between the time the deal is approved and June 30, 2022.

If the agreement is approved, where will this money come from?

Over many years, our district has purchased land where our current facilities sit and other land we need to accommodate growth. Sometimes, our district has acquired oil and gas mineral rights when we bought land, and these leases produce some income for our district. Oil and gas revenue is not guaranteed. It is not wise to use this money for recurring expenses; therefore, this money is used for special projects. It will be my recommendation to our Board to use some of these funds to pay for the entire $1.8 million of the agreement. No tax dollars will be used for this agreement.|

If the deal is approved, how will this money be used?

$500,000 will be used in an inter-local agreement with the City of Mansfield to assist with the construction of the facility. The other $1.3 million will be paid to the Dallas Stars over 5 years for services to our students and staff. These services include (but are not limited to): field trips for all levels, exclusive skating time for MISD families, summer and holiday camps for students, Mascot visits to campuses, physical fitness programs for some campuses, and other benefits.

Will tax dollars ever be used for this partnership?

It is possible that after this 5-year agreement expires and after a thorough program evaluation, we may want to continue our relationship with the Stars. In the event that our program evaluation determines this program is good for our students, staff and our community, the district may use its general fund to pay for use of the facility beyond the 5-year agreement.

Why should the district partner with the City of Mansfield for the facility’s construction?

It is common for schools and cities to partner together for the common good of our communities, and it is essential that the school district and our cities have an excellent working relationship. The district and all of our cities work very well together. Several examples of these partnerships include:

  • The district built additional driveway space around Mary Orr Intermediate School to help reduce the traffic congestion at Broad and Miller. The district paid for the driveway around the building; but the City of Mansfield designed, built, and paid for the deceleration lanes in both directions to assist with the project.
     
  • We have shared responsibility for community events such as the 4th of July celebration, Toys for Tots, Put it Down Save a Life, field trips to the city to meet the mayor, police and fire personnel, etc.
     
  • The City of Arlington and MISD partnered on the tri-schools road project near Howard Middle School, Holt Elementary, and Cross Timbers Intermediate. The district dedicated right of ways and easements to Arlington to facilitate the project. In turn, the City of Arlington gave the district right of way they owned, which gave us more room at Howard. We exchanged property to ensure that the road project would provide safer roads around those schools.
     
  • The cities and the district partner and share expenses for crosswalks, traffic lights, easements, storm drainage, sidewalk right of way and construction, etc.

Hockey is not a UIL sport. It seems like we are using district funds to support a non-school sport?

No district funds are being used to support non-UIL sports. Mansfield has a strong and successful club hockey program with strong, supportive parents; but it is not affiliated with the school district. The parents and students who participate in club hockey will negotiate with the Stars separately for ice time and other benefits.

Will my school taxes go up if the district participates in this partnership?

No. Our Board is committed to fiscally sound practices and reduced our interest and sinking taxes last year. This agreement will not increase taxes.

Why don’t you use this money to start other programs?

Other programs that have been suggested require additional staff that adds recurring personnel costs to our budget and may not reach as many students. This agreement, if approved, will allow thousands of students to experience new and different physical fitness opportunities. Furthermore, it will create summer employment opportunities, STEM instruction, summer camp opportunities, and many others—all without adding any additional staff to our district.

What you are saying is not consistent with some of the things I am reading on social media. Why is that?

It is important that we give you factual information. If you see or hear of something that concerns you are others, please contact me and encourage others to do so as well.

What do I do if I have more questions?

Email me directly or call me at 817-299-6302, and I will get the answer to your question.

Jim Vaszauskas
Superintendent

Information courtesy of Mansfield ISD

Agenda

Mansfield ISD
Called Meeting
Thursday, February 18, 2016 7:00 PM
Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts, 1110 W. Debbie Lane, Mansfield, TX
A. Meeting Opening
1. Agenda
2. Call to Order
3. Prayer
4. Pledges
5. Roll Call
B. Presentation
1. Proposed interlocal agreement with the City of Mansfield and lease with the Dallas Stars – Jeff Brogden
C. Public Comments
1. During this time, the Board will provide an opportunity for the public to specifically comment on the District’s proposed interlocal agreement with the City of Mansfield and lease agreement with the Dallas Stars.  No other topics will be heard during this specific Public Forum.  The rules and procedures regarding Public Forums, as stated below, will be in place during this time.
2. The correct procedure for addressing the board during Public Comments is as follows: Each speaker should address the board from the podium microphone and state his or her name and address before speaking. All speakers will be limited to five minutes to make comments. When five or more persons represent a group, one person should be appointed to present their views. Copies of presentations should be made available to all trustees and the superintendent.  Board policy prohibits the discussion of complaints against District employees during an open forum.
D. Adjourn
1. Adjourn

Video Courtesy of CBS DFW

Video Courtesy of WFAA8