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Turf, sod given the nod for HHS field

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

The Hays USD 489 Board of Education revisited the issue of the Hays High School athletic fields. A motion at the November meeting to put artificial turf on the HHS baseball and soccer/football fields died for lack of a second.

Spring sports practice starts Feb. 25, and because of watering issues, the HHS baseball field is unplayable.

"It's not reliable," Coach Frank Leo said of the outfield.

Superintendent Will Roth said he recommended the board "go as far as the board was comfortable" addressing the baseball field needs.

The board voted 6-1 to install artificial turf on the infield of the baseball field, and voted 5-2 to get bids for laying sod in the outfield.

Cost of the turf is $325,967 and would be paid out of the capital outlay budget. The amount would be financed for two years, Deputy Superintendent Richard Cain said.

Money for laying down sod or seeding the fields would come from either the contingency fund or the general fund.

Board vice president Greg Schwartz voted against both motions,

"My concern is -- I'm not in favor of supporting any plan that doesn't address our immediate concerns and our long-term concerns. ... In the spring, we're going to have a football field and soccer issue that we're going to have to get addressed as well," Schwartz said.

Board member Richard Kraemer voted against putting sod in the outfield.

"I didn't vote for sodding the outfield because that's going to be a general fund expense, and I don't like to have that money coming out of the general fund," Kraemer said.

"I'm comfortable going out two years fixing the problem we have coming in the spring," board member Marty Patterson said.

Also during Monday's meeting, representatives of Adams, Brown, Beran and Ball were present to review the FY 2012 audit.

Kraemer asked auditor Ken Beran about the district's contingency fund.

Beran said a year ago districts were allowed to have 6 percent of their general fund budget in a contingency fund, but the amount has been increased to 10 percent.

"You don't have a substantial amount when you look at you spent $17 million (in the general fund). Ten percent (of that, and you) would be able to have $1.7 million. You've got about $300,000."

In other business, the board:

* Reappointed Roth as its representative to the Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development board.

* Heard a facilities needs committee report from Josh Waddell and Brian Weimer.

* Recognized board members Kraemer, James Leiker and Alan Moore for receiving certificates of achievement from the Kansas Association of School Boards for continuing education points attending KASB workshops.

* Accepted resignations from Collette Winzerling, O'Loughlin para; Stephanie Straka, Christine Moses and Emily Christians, Wilson after-school care assistants; John Keller, O'Loughlin special education para; Brett Jensen, Hays High boys and girls head tennis coach; Allison Gough, Roosevelt after-school care assistant, Gavon Smith, transportation director.

*Approved the transfer of Renae Booth from Roosevelt principal's secretary to board treasurer/accounts payable, and Ashley Steiner from Hays Middle School ELL para to Roosevelt principal's secretary.

* Approved provisional employment of Sandra Breit, bus monitor; Danielle Ives, Washington ELL para; Lindzie Rambat, Wilson after school care assistant; Benjamin Galloway, O'Loughlin ELL para; Andre Bernard, Hays High evening custodian; Lindsay Brull, Wilson special ed teacher; Madison Jones and Morgan Shulte, Roosevelt assistant after school care directors.