STRATTANVILLE - The Clarion-Limestone School Board sent a significant amount of clock time discussing sports teams issues at its latest meeting.

Board member Mike Meals' athletic committee report outlined a meeting which took place the previous week.

Members of the C-L football program, now part of the co-op agreement with Clarion Area, were invited to the athletic committee meeting and brought up positive components on the agreement between the schools Meals said he hadn't previously taken into account.

"I was really encouraged by the stories they were sharing," Meals said. "There are some advantages to the co-op that I never considered. There was one young man who was playing the line for us last year and he probably would have been this year. Due to solid numbers from all three schools that are participating (Clarion Area has been in a football co-op with North Clarion since 2012) he's able to be a wide receiver which is probably where he should be anyway.

"Some of these athletes will be able to get looks by colleges that, had we not done this, our kids probably wouldn't have. They were telling the stories. They went to camp together. There's no doubt in my mind we made a right decision."

During the board's June meeting, board member Jamie Mahle questioned what junior high football program costs would look like for the upcoming season.

Meals and District Superintendent Amy Glasl addressed Mahle's concerns.

Meals said the district had paid $483 per athlete for a $6,700 total during the previous season. According to Meals, the 2019-2020 season's numbers would depend on how many students would participate in the junior high program.

Glasl said as of Aug. 16, the program had 21 junior high players. Calculating current costs based on a $440.50 rate per player, the total cost came to $9,250.

According to Glasl, some dialogue between Clarion Area and C-L regarding the institution of a flat fee of $7,500 to operate the junior high program had occurred.

Clarion-Limestone and Clarion Area began a junior high football co-op agreement before the start of the 2018-2019 season, and a cooperative sponsorship agreement between the two districts states the co-op term will run through the end of this season.

A review of the agreement and subsequent decision on a continuation of the co-op is said to take place in November.

The board gave approval to those involved with the committee to seek the adaption of a flat fee for the junior high program, which could then be voted on by the C-L school board during its next meeting in September.

Glasl informed the board Clarion Area and C-L's superintendents, business managers, principals and athletic directors had also met to gauge potential interest in a track program co-op.

Glasl provided figures indicating three separate scenarios and thus differing figures involving track program costs. The first scenario related to C-L operating a track program without a co-op. The second scenario included a co-op, where another track coach would need to be hired and the program would add 25 Clarion Area athletes.

In that scenario, expenses per athlete were expected to amount to $476, for a grand total of approximately $32,000. The two districts would then split the cost evenly, amounting to $16,000.

In the third scenario, costs related to future resurfacing of C-L's track and maintaining the district's pole vault over 20 years was included. The scenario also built-in the cost of maintaining the high jump over 10 years.

"We felt if they're going to co-op with us and we have to resurface the track, they're utilizing it," Glasl said. "We're going to have more people there utilizing it so we felt we should put that into the cost."

Glasl added the total costs in the third scenario came to $60,000. The districts would then split the total cost.

Glasl asked the board if they would be OK with including the costs presented in the third scenario through a potential track co-op.

"I think you should," board member David Schirmer said. "Why wouldn't you? They're using the facility. The surface is expensive. (The pole vault) is one layer level below Olympic quality and we have a good track. It's probably one of the best in Pennsylvania."

Glasl said she believed Clarion Area would argue C-L would plan to complete the aforementioned projects over time whether a co-op between the districts took place or not.

C-L Athletic Director Brandon Bell said there is little chance Clarion Area would agree to the third scenario.