By Roz Weis,
The cost to provide a wealth of extracurricular activities at Decorah Community Schools District (DCSD) just went up.
In action at Monday night’s DCSD Board of Directors meeting, board members approved renewing a revised contract with King Pin Entertainment Center’s bowling alley in Decorah for the next two years – at cost of $15,750 per season – an estimated 43 percent price increase over the prior season.
DHS Athletic Director Adam Riley told board members it is estimated the 50+ students on the boys and girls bowling rosters last season bowled approximately 9,000 games last year. The bowlers have a daily practice schedule, and the bowling season runs from early November to the final weeks of February.
Riley said adding bowling to the long list of extracurricular activities at DHS (the program was introduced in 2016-17) has brought out many participants who might not otherwise participate. He explained the increase, saying that bowling has provided kids with more opportunities not offered before.
When asked by Board Member Brian Petersburg if there had been a comparison study of other bowling alley fees in other school districts, Riley said he had not reached out for those figures. Riley said participation in bowling at the local high school is far above that in neighboring school districts.
“We offer so many extracurricular activities,” commented Petersburg, “and it comes at a price.”
Board member John Hjelle commented that if the estimated fee of approximately $1.75 per game is accurate, that’s a reasonable cost.
Bowling was added to the slate of winter student activities at DHS in the 2016-17 school year. Back then the cost to rent the former Oneota Lanes bowling alley was $2,000 for the season. About 20 students joined the teams back in the first season, and the number of participants has steadily climbed over the following years. The bowling program boasted 57 students last season.
As the number of participants has climbed, so have the costs. Fees at the bowling alley rose from $2,000 to $4,000 in the three seasons following that first season. Costs were increased to $8,000 in the 2020-21 season, and the contract was increased to $11,000 per season for the past two bowling seasons. The latest increase to $15,750 is a 43.18 percent increase.
In those early years, the local bowling alley was used only twice a week for practice and for home competitions. Now, the teams practice on a daily basis. DHS hosts between four and five meets per season at the King Pin Entertainment Center.
After considerable discussion Board members approved the revised contract with King Pin Entertainment for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years.