(BEDFORD) – In a 7-0 vote the North Lawrence Community School Board voted to move forward with the projected $ 2.3 million synthetic turf project at Bedford North Lawrence High School.
Before the vote on the project Bedford North Lawrence Band Director Eric Berger spoke once more in favor of the project. He also gave letters to NLCS Board President Trent Todd from students who supported the project and described what a benefit it would be and asked the board to move forward on the project.
Bedford North Lawrence High School Athletic Director Jeff Callahan spoke in favor of the project.
“The kids were excited to play on fields with this synthetic turf and will be a great boost to our athletic programs,” said Callahan. “This field will also reduce injuries and the severity of those injuries.”
Ed Bay was the only person who spoke against the project.
“You have a responsibility first to educate the students and second to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayer. This project is costing taxpayers almost the full $2.6 million borrowed which was not was originally touted in the proposal for this project,” said Bay, who is also running as a school board candidate in the general election.
By replacing the football field and softball fields it is expected to help with the following:
- Increase 70 hours of usage to almost 1,700 hours of usage per year.
- Multiple programs can use the football field such as, Band, Boys/Girls Soccer, Boys/Girls Track/Field, Middle School students
- Safer for our athletes and students
- Same surface used for practice and games
- Personnel savings of $65,000 a year
- Irrigation / Maintenance of $35,000 a year
- Minimum in cost savings of over $1 million in 10 years
Generate additional revenue:
- Expected opportunities to bring Band Competitions back to the community.
- Opportunity for community usage for events throughout the year.
The bonds used for this project will not raise additional taxes, and the debt service tax rate is expected to drop four cents next year. The debt service rate for the North Lawrence Community Schools is currently 38 cents.
During the project local contractors may be hired to perform work on various portions of the project.