School board gives nod to seek bids on ball field storage facility
The USD 348 Board of Education have once again given Superintendent Paul Dorathy direction about building a storage building at the district's ball field complex.
The school board began discussing a possible storage building, which would be built out of extra 2008 bond issue revenue, in January. During the past eight months, the previous and present school boards have moved the location several times and continually shrunk the scope of the project.
After many changes to the building and its location, the current school board is trying to move forward. On Monday, the board gave Dorathy the authority to seek bids on the project.
“I think we will be moving forward very soon,” Dorathy said. “We are going to try and bid the project in the near future.”
The original project called for the building to be constructed along the west side of Bullpup Drive, north of Elm Street. Only after the project was significantly shrunk, did the site change.
On Monday, board members decided to move the project to the south and west. The site they approved would be along the north side of Elm Street, just west of Bullpup Drive.
“We're looking at moving to a different site,” Dorathy said. “It will be a little more site-work friendly and shouldn't cost us as much money to use that site. It does move us a little further away from the ball fields, but at the same time, it will save quite a bit of money.
“What's going to make the project cheaper is the site work. At the old site, they were going to have to take out a number of trees and stumps and they'd also have to level out of a hill that comes down to those trees. This new site is much flatter and no trees will have to be cut out. They will have to do a little bit of site work, but not as much.”
The board members were OK with moving the project forward, even if the building was a bit further away from the ball fields. The current storage building for the ball field equipment is near Baldwin Junior High School.
“I agree with Ande (Parks),” Board Member Sandy Chapman said. “The only real drawback is we are further from the ball fields, but closer than we are now, and I'm OK with that.”
The building is expected to be 30-feet by 50-feet, but won't be as strong of a building or have as many bays as first designed into the building. Dorathy will be sending specifications of the building out for bids in the near future, and the school board is expected to move forward during the upcoming months.
Another facility paid for by the bond issue dollars that was also discussed at Monday's meeting was the practice track north of Baldwin High School. BHS coaches identified a mistake in the track after it was constructed.
The track is six inches too skinny. The outside lane isn't wide enough to place hurdles on it. The contractor attempted to fix the problem last year, but it wasn't what coaches or board members wanted. Now, they hope to get it corrected.
“We still have an issue with the track being about six inches narrower than it should be in lane six,” Dorathy said. “That's not new. They attempted a fix, and the board, nor our personnel, are happy with that fix. At this point, we are working with Manning to go back to the contractor to see if we can't get a better fix than what we got.”