Administrator’s Corner: Community faced project challenges with positivity

Published 10:48 pm Friday, October 11, 2019

Administrator’s Corner by Paul Durbahn

Paul Durbahn


In a past Administrator’s Corner column I had written, I noted it would be certain we would face adversity through the spring and fall. I think it’s safe to say that Albert Lea activities have had our share of hurdles with our new construction projects.

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We should be celebrating how our community, parents and student athletes have responded to those hurdles. We have had many schedule and site changes, limited practice space and unexpected surprises that come with new construction projects. Instead of complaining, people have been accepting, resilient and helpful. What I appreciate more than anything is that our student athletes didn’t just fold in the face of challenges; our community and students made the best of our scenario, and in a lot of aspects we’ve seen successes. With this attitude I’m confident the community of Albert Lea has a bright future.

The construction of the new pool locker rooms has been completed and the swimmers have been utilizing these spaces this fall. Jim Gustafson Field was christened by 36 games this fall as well! The new turf was tested by the weather and it showed what an advantage it is to have artificial turf, as many area schools canceled or rescheduled events due to weather that we were able to play as scheduled.

The once-demolished muddy landscape of Hammer Complex is showing signs of life, as the soccer fields are green and growing. The baseball and softball fields and concession stand are coming along nicely, and we are starting to see a more clear picture of what the end result will be. Also, the field house at Hammer Complex and gymnasium at Halverson Elementary are nearing completion. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the construction projects.

Moving forward, I think our community can get excited about some of the other things we’re working on. We will be gathering boosters, community programs, youth coaches, junior high coaches, high school coaches and administrators for an Albert Lea activities summit at the end of this month. We will continue to forge forward with our student Leadership Council. We are adding junior high basketball this year and will look to add more junior high programs in the future.

I wish the best of luck to our fall programs as they enter their postseason tournaments.

Thank you to our community for their support through our Homecoming week. Special thanks to our local food trucks and vendors that came for our Homecoming open house, Hy-Vee for hosting our Homecoming tailgate and all the local businesses that dressed up their storefronts to show their school spirit! And of course, Jim Gustafson making two appearances this year was very special to us. I’d also like to thank the class of 1969 for all their support; it was fun hosting them Sept. 27.

A few notes:

• Winter activity registrations are now open.

• The fall choir and orchestra concert is Monday.

• The fall band concert is scheduled for Oct. 25.

• There will be a mandatory winter all-parent-athlete-coach meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 for all school activities.

• The fall musical is Nov. 7, 8 and 9.

Paul Durbahn is the activities director for Albert Lea High School.