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Norwin to proceed with field project

Joe Napsha
| Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

After receiving proposals for installing artificial turf and other work at Norwin High School's baseball field, the district's facilities director told school officials Monday the project can proceed and the field will be ready for baseball next spring.

The bids from businesses seeking contracts to install the artificial turf, improve the field's drainage and build a stable outfield fence should allow the district to do the project for close to the estimated cost of about $354,000, facilities director Walter Lehman told the school board.

“It should be within (cost-wise) what we planned,” Lehman said.

The bids will be presented to the board for a vote at its meeting on Monday, Lehman said.

“Our goal is to get everything ready by mid-November. We want to make sure the kids are playing (on the field) in the spring of next year,” Lehman said.

Four contractors presented proposals for installing artificial turf and three contractors submitted bids for the other work, Lehman said. He did not present the board with a list of the contractors that submitted proposals.

Director Donald Rhodes suggested that the district buy tarps to protect the new turf in winter “so it doesn't get ruined.”

Tarps were not included in the specifications, but money should be available to buy them, Lehman said.

Lehman said the artificial turf carries an eight-year warranty, but he believes it could last 20 years because it would have less wear and tear than turf on a football field.

Norwin's baseball team was unable to use the field last season because of erosion along the outfield fence, forcing the baseball team to play all of its home games at Hempfield Park north of Greensburg. As road warriors, the Knights won the WPIAL Class AAAA championship.

In addition to repairs to the baseball field, Lehman said he is seeking proposals for repairs to the girls softball field.

In a discussion on a variety of district policies, solicitor Alfred Maiello said he is working on a policy for handling transgender student issues.

Norwin does not have a policy, he said, noting some other districts have been handling issues “on a case-by-case” basis.

In other matters, Superintendent William Kerr said he invited state Rep. George Dunbar, R-Penn Township, to explain to the board the formula the state is using to determine the amount of basic education subsidies each school district receives.

Dunbar and state Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield, last week explained the formula to the Penn-Trafford School Board.

Norwin received only a 1.5 percent increase this school year over the 2015-16 school year, Kerr said.

“Truly, it's less than adequate to meet our operational costs,” Kerr said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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