Following numerous hours of research and discussion on the topics since December 2012, Josh Hoener, Owensville High School athletic director, presented more facts and figures on how a new field would look to students, faculty and staff in the R-2 District.
R-2 Board of Education member David Lottmann made the initial motion to proceed with the project and fellow member Linda Baehr seconded the motion. Approval was unanimous.
The R-2 board approved installation of a new track and turf field to be completed this summer by Byrne & Jones Sports, St. Louis, for a cost not to exceed $1,114,120.
Along with the new turf and track, there are also a number of other projects in around Dutchmen Field that will need to be completed. Those will include replacing sidewalks, rock and concrete along the breezeway and steps under the grandstand, replacing bleachers that Owensville Middle School students sit on and other projects that will be bid out.
“We’ll bid out the list of potential projects at Dutchmen Field to coincide with construction of the new project so they’re completed at the same time,” R-2 Superintendent Dr. Russ Brock said.
“We can’t put a new field out there and leave everything else the way it is,” R-2 board member David Lottmann said during discussion of the proposal.
Lottmann also wanted a stipulation in the contract that local contractors must be solicited whenever possible.
“They (UBU Sports, Inc.) would use our local contractors if we wanted them to do concrete work,” Hoener said in response to Lottmann’s suggestion.
UBU works mainly with synthetic surfaces, or turf, in Owensville’s case.
Better than expected financial figures have eased fears from R-2 personnel including Superintendent Dr. Russ Brock.
“I feel comfortable and confident that the financing options available will help us pay this off within three years,” Brock said.
Mentioned in an earlier work session, about $350,000 from the capital fund coming out of this fiscal year will be dedicated toward the project.
Based on transfers, the same amount could easily be available out of next year’s budget, according to Brock, leaving the rest potentially financed through a lease-purchase agreement.
“Based on the projected balance in the capital project fund, the district would have at least $350,000 that could be allocated for this project,” according to Brock’s report to board members in a March 8 budget workshop. “With the amount that could be transferred to the capital project fund next year, the district could have another $350,000 to allocate for this project, leaving approximately $350,000 to be financed through a lease-purchase agreement. Since the project would not be completed until August, approximately two-thirds of the project would be paid for out of capital transfers. The lease-purchase agreement would also be set up to be paid off early without penalty which would reduce the actual total cost of financing the project.”
Gary Pohlmann, board president, told his fellow board members in December he’d witnessed a “new pride at turf schools” across the region. He said then he was “looking to increase the numbers” of participants in sporting activities especially at the “youth level” by installing a turf field.
“Basically, I’d like to see it go from a football field to Dutchmen Field for multiple uses,” said Pohlmann. Band shows were also cited as proposed uses for the field (See Sports on page 13).
Planning ahead for this project, the Owensville Area Relay For Life has been in discussion with R-2 officials about moving the annual 2013 fund-raiser to benefit the American Cancer Society to the loop at Owensville Elementary School. “They (Relay For Life) contacted us and asked about using the loop at OES,” Hoener said. “They knew at some point whether it was turf or just a track, that there going to be kicked off (Dutchmen Field) for just one year. They’ve talked about using the loop at OES as their fallback plan.”
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