continued During their March 13 budget work session, School Board members also listened to budget options from the transportation and sports departments.
Lake Placid Middle-High School Athletic Director Matt Walentuk laid out his expenses for all the sports programs, which cost the district about $250,000 a year for 32 teams on the modified, junior varsity and varsity levels.
“I’m not saying that this has to stay (intact),” Walentuk said, adding that he is willing to look at potential savings and “pinch pennies if that has to be done.”
School Board member and former LPCS superintendent Jerry Blair asked Walentuk what other school districts are doing with their sports programs during the budget process. Other than Beekmantown Central, which has proposed cutting all sports for the 2012-13 year, Walentuk said many districts are discontinuing sports programs with low participation.
As School Board members listened to Walentuk’s presentation, Superintendent Richards reminded them that sports in Lake Placid — the winter sports capital of the world — is not only important to students, it is part of the district’s mission statement.
“This really goes back to school philosophy,” Richards said. “We value participation ... You go right back to those root values.”
School Board members agreed.
The district is guided by a mission to provide “a welcoming, stimulating environment that inspires students to achieve their academic, physical and social potential and to thrive in a dynamic global society.”
Richards noted that 50 percent of Lake Placid’s students in grades 7-12 will participate in sports programs this spring.
School Board members asked Walentuk to see if he could cut his budget by 10 percent.
District Transportation Director Jeff Jacques gave School Board members options to decrease the cost of busing children to and from their homes in Lake Placid and Wilmington.