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West Fargo logo back in the limelight

By Tyler Shoberg

The issue of creating an official West Fargo Packer logo may be getting another look.

Discussion on the topic arose rather inadvertently during Monday's meeting of the West Fargo School Board.

West Fargo High School is going to get a brand new terrazzo floor this summer, with construction expected to be completed before next fall. When samples of tile colors and the final design were brought forth for board approval, member Dave Olson said his hope was for there to be at least some sort of logo incorporated into the final product.

It was an idea that Business Manager Mark Lemer cautioned may not be the wisest decision at the moment, considering the district does not have an official logo.

"We need to trademark a logo," he said. "We can't just put a logo in the floor that isn't ours."

The issue of trademarking a logo for the West Fargo School District first was brought to light last April. At the time, marketing teacher Jenna Skaff warned the board against the dangers of not having an official logo, and said a trademarked logo would "give us a unified name and make a brand for the Packer."

West Fargo is one of only a handful of districts without a trademarked logo, she said. Districts with trademarked logos include Fargo North and Fargo South, which broadly display their Spartan and Bruin logos across their campuses.

If the West Fargo School District were to incorporate a logo that it didn't have legally trademarked, legal problems could ensue if it were to somehow be trademarked by another entity, Lemer said.

"If we're going through the trouble of putting it in, we'd hate to have to rip it out," he said.

But if the issue was brought up last spring, why hadn't it been remedied?

Last April, Skaff said there were several problems with the district's current logo. Firstly, its most commonly used logo, which Athletic Director Curt Jones said was at least 10 years old, is difficult to replicate. Also, each sport seemed to have its own twist on the logo, meaning officials would have to sit down and finalize one design for the entire district.

Board member Patti Stedman said Skaff's group had brought forth notion of an official logo, but never returned to the board for a second look. Stedman said the board had asked them to go out and do more research and gather feedback on the topic before coming back to the board for final decision and approval.

However, assistant Heather Leas said she looked back at minutes from the April board meeting, and a board member had said he or she didn't like the idea of individual teams not being able to create a logo specific to their sport. Leas said it may have been unclear to the logo group that the board was open to moving forward with trademarking an official symbol.

On Monday, the board decided it would be best to continue talks about trademarking a logo in the near future.

"We will move forward on trying to trademark a logo," Board President Karen Nitzkorski said. However, it likely would take longer than May 1 to get anything finalized she said, and the process of trademarking can take months.

As for the terrazzo floor, board members decided to leave any further planning up to administrators, and that for now, simple "WF" block letters could be used instead of a logo.

District to advertising bids for additions to Osgood KC

Also Monday, the West Fargo School Board approved administrators to advertise for bids for additions to the Osgood Kindergarten Center.

Construction involves the addition of several classrooms, as well as a gymnasium.

Most recent cost estimates for the project are "a little bit above" projected numbers, Lemer said, and could exceed $80,000. This is due to unaccounted code updates for bathrooms, as well as additional parking options.

Lemer said they are hoping for competitive bids, which could see the cost drop.

Board member Angela Korsmo asked how long the additions would be effective for West Fargo's seemingly continuous growth.

"It's helping for short term, but not for long," Superintendent David Flowers said. "We're still over capacity." The space means the district still needs to find room for a projected 600 additional students by 2015, he said.

However, with these spaces the district should be able to accommodate kindergarten through the district, Lemer said, and at least temporarily alleviate overcrowding at Aurora Elementary School.

Funding for the project is coming from Qualified School Construction Bonds. Bids for approval will be on the Feb. 28 School Board meeting agenda, Lemer said.