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Spike in labor costs for RCTC sports bubble

Outside RCTC football field
Outside RCTC football field(Chuck Sibley)
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) owns an indoor facility that goes up in mid-November and is taken down in early spring. Normally, the college uses the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) to supply manual labor, which is about 50 to 60 people. Due to COVID-19, the Minnesota DOC is not currently helping with any dome projects.

RCTC also uses Olmsted County’s “Sentence to Serve” program which provides a crew of around 10 people, but right now, the program consists of only one person.

“Right now we’re contracted to have Benike do the setup and supply labor for this year,” said RCTC Director of Sports Facilities Michael Sheggeby.

That is going to cost about eight times more than using the Minnesota DOC. RCTC says those funds are coming from its operational budget, but that will not be enough.

“This year we’ll see a deficit. We won’t cover our operating costs for this year,” said Sheggeby.

RCTC also says it will only slightly increase rates this year for those that utilize the dome, but next year may be a different story.

“He said that it would be minimal costs, increase in fees this year, however next year if they were to look at putting the bubble up again we would be looking at double the fees which is not going to sit well with parents and the community,” said Minnesota Rush Executive Director Kevin Lowery.

Most teams, like the Rochester Senior Dome Softball Committee, are just excited to get back into the bubble.

“Anxious to get in and play the ball. It’s such a unique experience playing ball in the dome. Everything is live,” said Rochester Senior Softball player Ben Borgen.

RCTC is hoping things are all set up and ready to go in December.

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