The Hays USD 489 school board approved the purchase of new playground equipment for Wilson Elementary School at Monday night’s meeting.

The $78,350 purchase passed 5-1. Board President Mandy Fox was absent. Board member Greg Schwartz cast the dissenting vote.

“I’m not opposed to the equipment, but I am going to vote against it based on the timing of it,” Schwartz said prior to the vote being called.

“We’re having to act on it at the last minute and rushing into decisions, seems like,” he said when Board Vice President Mike Walker asked if he wanted to elaborate on his reason.

No district funds will be used to purchase the equipment, which should be able to be installed by the beginning of the school year, Superintendent John Thissen said.

Most of the money will come from the Wilson Home and School Association, which has been raising and saving money for several years for the equipment. The association also received a $5,000 grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation in Logan toward the purchase.

“It’s been in the making all along. This is something we really would have preferred to present a couple months ago,” Thissen said.

“It sounds like an awful lot of money, and it is, but it’s money that’s been planned and worked for by the site to make this happen,” he said.

“The timing can still end up working,” Thissen said.

Also at Monday night’s meeting:

• Board members discussed the facility use agreement for Fort Hays State University’s Lewis Field Stadium for the 2018 football season. The cost of using the stadium will increase by $100 to $2,500 per game. The board will vote on the contract at its next meeting, Aug. 6.

• The board agreed to table board president appointments until the Aug. 6 meeting due to Fox’s absence. The board president recommends appointments to the Hays Recreation Commission Board, Early Childhood Connections Policy Council, Hays Area Children’s Center, the district’s Technology Committee and the USD 489 Foundation for Educational Excellence Board.

• The board approved recommended policies from the Kansas Association of School Boards.