The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 11, 2014

School Board to vote on CIML split

OTTUMWA — When Ottumwa fans fill Schafer Stadium in the fall of 2015, they may no longer be competing in the Central Iowa Metro League (CIML).

The Ottumwa Community School District (OCSD) Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at the McCarroll Building to approve leaving the CIML conference. If approved the district will enter a new athletic conference which will include the five Des Moines Public Schools — East, Hoover, Lincoln, North and Roosevelt — as well as Indianola and Marshalltown. If approved, the new conference will not be ready to see play until at least the 2015-16 school year.

The CIML presently includes 19 schools which are divided into four segments: North, East, West and Metro. Schools wanting to split are essentially in their own conference already, with the exception of Marshalltown. Ottumwa and the Des Moines Public Schools make up the Metro conference; therefore, if approved, athletes will not see that much of a difference in competing teams.

Conversations about the creation of a new conference first began amongst the Des Moines schools and the idea grew as they asked area schools to join. In last month's school board meeting, officials called the new conference a win-win situation for Ottumwa High School.

"I think this is a really good situation, and I know that Des Moines is really interested in this. I think Marshalltown is going to be (also) because they are in the same situation as us right now. Right now we have to play whatever they give us — Valley, Ankeny, Ankeny Centennial, Southeast Polk. Essentially our hands are tied," explained OHS Athletic Director Thomas Kopatich at last month's meeting.

If approved, the eight team conference would open up possibilities for OHS sports by giving them the freedom to govern activities within the division.

The school board will also be approving Alex Barr as the board Secretary/Treasurer for the OCSD during the 2014-15 fiscal year. This position will handle all investments on behalf of the district. The board will also approve a new beverage vendor contract that will go through the next three school years.

The board will also elect an individual to fill the vacant member position before going into closed session to evaluate the Superintendent of Schools Davis Eidahl.

— Follow reporter Danielle Lunsford on Twitter @CourierDanielle

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