Archive for Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ruhlen property may change district’s plans

Baldwin School Board members learned at Monday's meeting that the Ruhlen property that was purchased in 2000 is now available. It may change plans on where the new ball fields, approved in the $22.9 million school bond issue, will be located. Instead of being near Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate School, they may be near Baldwin High School, which can be seen in the background of the photo.

Baldwin School Board members learned at Monday's meeting that the Ruhlen property that was purchased in 2000 is now available. It may change plans on where the new ball fields, approved in the $22.9 million school bond issue, will be located. Instead of being near Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate School, they may be near Baldwin High School, which can be seen in the background of the photo.

December 11, 2008

There’s been a curveball thrown at building new baseball and softball fields in the school district. But sometimes breaking pitches are a good thing.

Supt. Paul Dorathy told Baldwin School Board members at Monday’s meeting that a parcel of land near Baldwin High School purchased in 2000 is available. It’s the Ralph Ruhlen property just north of the junior varsity/freshman football field.

“I wanted to update the board that the family has turned over the keys,” said Dorathy. We are working on it. One of the things we’re considering with the bond issue is where the ball fields would fit. We did not know we would have the Ruhlen property.

“Before we start throwing concrete down out there (Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center), we need to analyze what’s going to work,” he said.

Under the recently approved $22.9 million bond issue, four new baseball and softball fields would have been built near BESIC. A practice track is also to be built.

However, Dorathy told the board, it might make more sense to build them near BHS for several reasons. The school district bought the Ruhlen property for $200,000 and the final payment will be made in 2011. It totals 9.3 acres and also abuts the present ball fields to the east.

He said the DLR Group architects will look over the Ruhlen property to determine if it makes more sense to build the ball fields there. It might also change plans for the new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center which was approved in the bond issue.

“They are going to look at it and see if that will work,” he said. “They’re examining about moving it over there. The ball fields would be next to the high school. There are some things there that make sense.

“Moving the elementary school to where the ball fields are in the plans would cut the costs down,” said Dorathy. “Putting the schools together there would be some cost sharing.”

He mentioned one cost that would be cut is installing sewer line to where the new BESPC was going to be located.

The Ruhlen property includes a house that he lived in for years, prior to his recent move to Vintage Park, Dorathy said.

“Before we decide anything about it, I would like to contact someone to see about buying the house and moving it,” he said. “The family also has some concerns. They said, ‘If you would do that, we would love to be able to come back to the community and see the house even, it’s 20 miles from there.’”

Board Member Ruth Barkley asked if the house could be used for office space for the district. Dorathy said he didn’t think that would work. The board gave its consensus to check on selling the house, as well as possibly making changes in the plans for the bond issue.

Comments

beevo 5 years, 8 months ago

For some reason, most likely logic, I assumed the new ball fields and track would be constructed next to BHS. Aren’t most athletic fields are constructed next to the school using them? I shouldn‘t have assumed that logic would prevail. [In the vernacular “assume” might mean, making an “ass out of you & me.] It seems to me that it is totally illogical to construct the ball fields & track a mile away from the high school, next to an elementary school. This shows a total lack of planning & insight by our school district.! It would be just another haphazard and a cobbled up mess. Now by accident maybe logic will prevail. But as for logical thinking I also never thought the school bond issue would pass when all the major economic indicators were pointing to a major recession or depression.

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Bloggerboo 5 years, 8 months ago

Here's an idea for you Beevo, oh God of Logic. Instead of berating the district after the fact, why didn't you attend the meetings to see how the planning was going? Give your input, make your case. You know, get involved in some way other than just bitching and whining on an anonymous forum.

The practice track was never destined to be built out by the BESIC. Only the ballfields were because that was the only place there was large enough to hold a 4-field complex. This was confirmed by the architects, so it wasn't just a "district" decision.

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beevo 5 years, 8 months ago

Bloggrboo, through your writings you appear to be a sharp tongued, intolerant, malicious and negative person. I have never seen you respond to anyone in a constructive manner. I said in my comments that I was wrong in my assumptions. For your information an architect does not make decisions but offers an intelligent professional opinion. Decisions are made by school boards. (It’s a hard thankless job) Let’s do a short review. Look at the disarray our school district was in when Supt. Paul Dorathy was hired. Thank God he accepted the position! Remember the previous superintendent & high school principal were released from their contracts. The high school principal even filed a law suite against the school district. It was discovered that our district was several hundred thousand dollars short in its operating budget. The teachers were not working under a contract and their salaries were essentially frozen. The school buildings were suffering because of deferred maintenance; lack of funds. The deferred maintenance resulted in a school that contained mold and a school that needed so much work it would be cheaper to replace it. The district didn’t have adequate funds to repair the buildings or to replace the ball fields that were constructed with improper dimensions etc. So a school bond was proposed. Then the national economy went bad. It was not the right time for a bond issue. But we all knew something eventually was going to have to be done. The bond decision has been made so lets do things right. Since we now have the land even if it means a delay in constructing the athletic fields they need to be adjacent to the schools using them & not off site.

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