Archive for Thursday, September 29, 2011

School board gives nod to seek bids on ball field storage facility

September 29, 2011

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.”


Torch 6 years, 8 months ago

Why are we worried about saving money?!?!?!

For the cost of one Big Mac a week we could have the best storage facility in the area!!!

Dear Heavens...IT'S FOR THE KIDS!!!!!


hyperinflate 6 years, 8 months ago

Of course you notice that Paul Dorathy instructed Jimmy not to report the price limit that was agreed upon for bidding purposes. This topic has come up repeatedly at school board meetings for the past 10 months and the maximum funding allocation was always the issue (see previous article links below). However, now that an agreement was made, Jimmy doesn't report the price. Instead, the important factor to the new brainiac self-described "Accountant" on the board was the distance it was from the ball fields. Sounds to me like Paul beat the new board into submission to spend "whatever it takes" to ensure that the kids have the most fabulous storage shed to ensure that they are world-class competitive.


jgillispie 6 years, 8 months ago

The price wasn't discussed on Monday. I believe at the last meeting the board wanted to keep it under $50,000, but it might even be less than that for the entire cost of the project. When it was first bid in the spring, it came in at more than $100,000. Then it was scaled back a bit to $80,000 and even further to around $65,000-$70,000, I think. The new board took over and wanted it much less than that and has been sizing it down and trying to spend much less of the extra bond dollars to build this storage facility.

Jimmy Gillispie


hyperinflate 6 years, 8 months ago

Way to dig in there and ask the Administration questions that the School Board didn't think to ask Jimmy! Your readership is greatly appreciative that you always go the extra mile. Nothing like speaking truth to power and performing your duties as a member of the free press. Can't even begin to tell you how much better off the taxpayers of this district are thanks to your crack reporting skills.


Stacy Napier 6 years, 8 months ago

Well for the all the money we spent on these fields where are the great tournaments that were promissed. It was supposed to boom our economy with all the outside teams comming to play on our great fields.

Just like everything else they ask money for. Big Joke and what a waste, meanwhile some of our schools can't meet standards.


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