Burrell School Board decides to fix parking lot and girls softball field at cost of $1.4 million
Burrell School District is seeking contract bids to repair Bon Air Elementary School’s parking lot and the girls softball field.
The school board zeroed in on those two projects out of five proposed by the administration.
Other projects included recrowning the football field or replacing it with a synthetic turf field; replacing the track around the football field; and overhauling the high school swimming pool.
Repairing the parking lot at Bon Air was made a high priority by the board because of fears that if left alone, the parking lot would continue to deteriorate.
Superintendent Shannon Wagner said delaying the reconstruction and resurfacing of the parking lot — estimated to cost $1.1 million — eventually could cost the district an additional $500,000.
Fixing a 5-foot drop in elevation from the pitcher’s mound to right field on the girls softball field was the least expensive of the repairs proposed to the athletic facilities. It’s expected to cost about $300,000, according to Wagner.
She and Business Administrator Jennifer Callahan believe the parking lot and softball field repairs can be financed without a tax increase or adding to the district’s debt.
Wagner said they believe that can be done by reallocating some committed funds and using some uncommitted funds.
Why other work was shelved
Doing some of the other projects probably would have forced the district to finance them through a bond issue.
That increased debt would have resulted in a tax increase of about 1.2 mills.
Replacing the football field with an artificial turf field would cost more than $1 million; overhauling the swimming pool would cost about $1 million; and replacing the track would cost about $750,000.
Callahan said it would be unfeasible for the district to increase taxes for that reason since the district is limited by state law to a 3 percent (2.8 mills) limit on raising taxes. She said the district is in a tight budget situation, and if taxes need to be raised, it probably would be to cover employee salary and benefit cost increases.
Wagner set the third week of April as when contractors can view the project areas and talk to district officials before submitting bids.
The bid opening will take place the first week of May.