What can be done to improve the quality of high school athletics in Waterloo? At its meeting on May 12th (2014), the Board of Education heard several recommendations on how to grow participation in high school sports and make the varsity teams more competitive.

A committee made up of administrators, coaches, parent volunteers and youth sports leaders has been meeting for about 10 months to develop a plan to address the problem. The recommendations include the possibility of merging East and West high schools, giving the district one athletics program.

The 14-page report presented to the school board includes 18 recommendations in all. Some have costs attached, such as building additional gymnasiums at each high school and the district's six middle schools – a price tag estimated at $10 million to $15 million. Funding a year-round strength coach at each high school is another recommendation.

Altering physical education and sports programs at the elementary and middle schools is also a possibility. The committee is recommending that changes be made at the pre-high school grades to get more kids involved in sports at an earlier age and develop the skills they need to compete in high school.

The Waterloo Board of Education accepted the committee's list of recommendations on Monday, but made no decisions on improving the district's athletic programs.