The Octorara Area School District Board of Directors held their monthly Work Session Meeting, and Facilities Committee Meeting, on January 13, 2014. Seven Board Members were in attendance at the Work Session; Sheri Melton and Samuel Ganow were absent..
During the Work Session, the Board was presented the Agenda Items to be voted on at the Regular Meeting on January 19th. There were no Presentations, Visitor Comments, or Informational Items. However, Dr Newcome did ask that Board Members be prepared to provide him with what they want to see out of this year’s Budget Process.
Track Field Discussions
During the Facilities Committee Meeting, and on behalf of the Field Development Committee, Nelson Stoltzfus showed photos of “damage” to the Track Field. While the Track is obviously not at Competition Standards, there has now been created a debate as to the condition for general school use, which was initially stated to the Committee as adequate for general school use. While the Track is not in pristine condition, it is not in a condition all too different than walking or jogging on a regular road surface or even a walking/jogging trail.
Estimates to bring the Track up to Competition Standards have ranged from $350,000 to $400,000 over the last several months. It was also stated that it is not unheard of for Track & Field teams to exist, train, and compete without the luxury of a competition level Track.
During the meeting, there was concern that the Track Field was not included in the District’s Long Range Plan, a document used to list and prioritize Facilities repairs, upgrades, and renovations. The Committee was assured it would be listed in a revision of the document that will be provided in upcoming months.
Generally speaking, the Facilities Committee was in agreement that there are necessary Capital Expenses and Facilities Repairs that make the Track Field a low priority. However, now that the debate revolves around the Track being an overall safety issue, the District may be obligated to do something.
The Committee seemed to limit what they were willing do to resolve the possible safety issue to either removing the Track altogether, or replacing it with easily reparable gravel, both solutions would not require the removal the the slag under the Track, which is a major issue in why the Track Field is not meeting Competition Standards but has also been determined to be non-hazardous. In this scenario, the Board may be willing to contribute Taxpayer Dollars up to the possible obligation of removing a safety hazard, and the Field Development Committee would need to raise the funds to create a Competitive Track.
It was also discussed that no Taxpayer Dollars were technically used for the Soccer/Football Field. The only thing the District paid for with Taxpayer Dollars was the bleachers, which were in need of replacement, a hazard, and had use beyond Soccer and Football. If the bleachers were included in the total cost of the Soccer/Football Field project, the Taxpayer contribution would represent roughly $1 out of every $5. This would translate to a Taxpayer contribution, if the full Board agrees, for the Track Field of up to $70,000 out of the $350,000 needed, but also depending on and limited by the cost of just removal.
More Facilities News
There has been no movement on resolving the High School Water Infiltration problem. The Architect and Foreman Group have not reached out for additional quotes, beyond the initial, to get the work done. Frustration seems to be building with all Facilities Committee Members.
The inventory of the Junior High School doors is complete, and it was noted that the building uses 5 different locking systems. The District will get pricing to convert the Junior High Key Systems to the same used by the High School.
The District is looking at costs to repair a section of the High School Roof, above the Girls’ Lockerroom.
The District had hoped there was a State Contract in order to complete the repair of the Junior High Elevator. There is not. The project will have to go out to bid.
The Flashing Light at Rt. 10 & Highland Ave is fixed as of December 30th. We don’t know how, or by who, but it is fixed.