Safford MSD new turf and track on hold
By Karen Daniels
Last week a special joint budget session was held at the request of the SMSD Board with Stafford City Council. During SMSD’s last regular board meeting, after approving the funding of district-wide projects, the Board ran out of residual 2011 bond fund money to fully cover the costs of the new turf and track at the stadium. A motion was made by Trustee Rodney Butler to have the joint meeting so the topic of funding could be discussed. There was a sense of urgency in order to have the field ready for the 2014/15 football season.
But before they could discuss the turf and track, a topic that was not covered at the last joint budget meeting due to time constraints was put on the agenda first. The topic was diversity. Typically there are two hours allotted for these meetings. The first hour was a presentation by Mayor Scarcella about the SMSD breakaway story and the declining numbers in diversity. “City and schools need all races. This adds to the student’s ability to learn and advance.” The Mayor suggested lowering the amount of LOE’s (Limited Open Enrollment) that can transfer in. As of April 21st the percentages were: Hispanic—45%, African American—40%, Asian—8%, White—5%, and Two or More Races—2%. A committee was recommended to explore this topic.
During the second hour of the evening, Dr. Bostic began with a Hollywood-esque movie presentation about the current condition of the field and surrounding areas. Dr. Bostic would like a “fresh look” to evaluate. He would first like to make sure everything that the voters approved in the 2011 bond election has been completed. Athletic Director, Ron Counter, was on hand to speak in favor of the new field. He said the current field has “80 to 90% weeds.” Councilman Willis said he “does not want to touch the M&O money” in order to pay for the field. A motion for Dr. Bostic to identify and recommend renovations passed unanimously. According to Vice-President Greg Holsapple, unless the Board can “take action in early summer” the field will not be ready until the 2015/16 football season.
In other board news, Trustee Ettienne Zak was elected as Board President. He was first elected to the Board of Education in May 1998.
The SMSD High School gradation for 2014 will be held at Constellation Field on Friday, June 6th at 7:00pm.
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