The Edison Local School Board of Education took quick action and approved a nearly $1 million bid to update sports facilities at Edison High School.
Leaders approved an $889,955 bid from Vasco of Massillon to place new turf to the current soccer field on the school grounds to make way for a new multi-purpose facility to host football, soccer and track activities. Board President Aaron Richardson said the plan includes the base bid for the turf project as well as two alternate bids for Vasco to maintain the field as well as provide concrete stabilization on the ground, if needed, before the turf is added.
School board member Matt Bordash questioned District Treasurer Lisa Bruzzese as to whether the district’s budget would remain solvent after she transferred funds for construction. Bruzzese had hoped to stay within $5 million for operations and said the current shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic had actually saved on some costs.
“We’re saving money on resources and bus fuel. I think it probably won’t cut into that $5 million,” she said. “I’m cleaning up purchase orders now and there are a bunch we’re not going to use.”
Following more discussion, leaders approved the bid and agreed to transfer $1 million from the general fund to the construction fund. School Superintendent Bill Beattie said the turf was the first part of the ongoing upgrade and work will occur through the summer.
“We hope they will start mobilizing and start work on May 26,” Beattie said, adding the project was estimated to last for 10 weeks and could wrap up in mid- to late August. “We are putting turf on the soccer facility to make it our multi-purpose facility moving forward. This is the first of the master facilities projects we are getting off the ground.”
Overall plans are to unify school sports at the Richmond campus by adding baseball and softball fields, the multi-purpose athletic field and a new 1,500-seat gymnasium as well as a new parking lot. The baseball and softball fields currently are located at Jefferson State Lake near Richmond and athletes have held track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville. Officials said centralizing the activities would improve safety for students and save time for parents who must travel through the area to attend events. Expenses will be paid through the 2.1-mill emergency renewal levy approved by voters this fall which would generate more than $1,049,000 annually over seven years.
Beattie said more bids should be coming in over the next few weeks for lighting, the grandstand, press box and excavation as the project gains momentum. Meanwhile, the next regular meeting is set for May 21 at 6 p.m. at EHS.