Board Goes Back And Forth On Sports Complex

ST. MARYS — Local board of education members discussed another facilities project during their monthly meeting Wednesday night.

St. Marys Board of Education members discussed the completion of the new athletic complex and funding for the project, going back and forth between their options.

“In my own personal opinion, I don’t see any time before 2013,” Board Vice President Rees McKee said of the possible schedule for the athletic complex. “We still have got a few things against us.”

From the urging of the residents he has talked to, board member Ralph Wiley said there is a request for the board to commit to doing something.

“I’ve had numerous conversations with people about the project, they’re questioning at what point is the board going to commit to moving forward with moving the athletic facilities and at what point is the board going to consider financing,” Wiley said. “The money was supposed to be used for facilities, and the athletic facility is part of those facilities — and they’re waiting for us to do that.”

McKee said the problem lies with the OSFC and wrapping up the final parts of the building project.

“We’ve got to get them cleaned up and then revisit this,” McKee said.

“It was voted on for facilities, let’s use it on facilities, but let’s be pragmatic with the OSFC and get this cleaned up.”

Board member Lisa Tobin asked about the board’s ability to reject bids if the district decided to go out for bids for an athletic complex to get a solid number on the actual costs out there, rather than go by MSA’s estimate.

“Anytime the board offers bid specs, it always reserves the right to reject any and all bids,” Business Manager Kurt Kuffner said.

Board President Craig Gottschalk questioned if the numbers from the bids came 10 to 20 percent of the MSA estimates.

“Where is that money,” he asked, requesting Wiley tell the fundraising group to start working.

“I’m not willing to earmark those funds for anything — maybe we’d have to use those funds if something happens in the future.”

Wiley said the group should be given a number to start with, so that it would know how much to raise, with Wiley saying he wanted to commit the leftover funds to the project.

“It’s not doing any good where it’s sitting, it won’t grow,” Wiley said.

“I don’t think we should just leave the money — I think we should commit to something. The community members I’m talking to are waiting on us to make a commitment with these funds — I think now is the time to show our commitment to our student athletes and community that we are willing to support these programs.”

Board members also authorized MSA Sport to proceed with the design of a tennis complex for the St. Marys Memorial High School/St. Marys Middle School campus. During their meeting, board members approved to accept sealed bids for the demolition of the structures located at 14486 State Route 66 at 2 p.m. Oct. 11.

The area will be used for the site of the tennis complex.

In other business, board members:

• Heard from resident Bob Valentine in regard to the installation of the synthetic turf. Valentine questioned the rubber fill from tires used in the turf and stated there have been instances when carcinogens have been found in rubber tires, especially those made out of the country.

He said, because of this, the use of synthetic turf would be a health hazard to the students.

Valentine was told the school is using turf infill made by U.S. company Liberty Tire. Bill Baker with MSA Sport noted there has not been a health issue related to infill used in synthetic turf that he knew of.

• Awarded the lawn mowing service for the 2012-13 mowing seasons to HDL Property Services.

The next meeting of the St. Marys Board of Education will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at St. Marys Memorial High School.