The advantage of installing synthetic turf on the Enterprise High School football field and what to do with the old Carroll Street School were among the topics discussed at the Enterprise Board of Education work session July 30.
“We need to explore the implementation of synthetic turf for long term savings on that field,” Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Greg Faught told the board. “That cost is anywhere from $800,000 to $900,000 but the cost to maintain the current field with as much play as it gets is anywhere from $90,000 to $100,000 a year including manpower, chemicals and mowers.
“Synthetic turf is supposed to be environmentally safer and also is a more consistent playing surface,” Faught added. “Right now we have the junior highs, the ninth grade team, junior varsity and varsity using the field.
“Then right after football season, you have soccer,” he added. “The field takes a long time to recover. It seems like it just recovers in time for football season then we are right back on it.”
The EHS football field is in a state of decline, Faught said. “And in time will go down more because it really doesn’t have the time to recover.
“(Synthetic turf) definitely would be an investment,” Faught added. “Also if the city wanted to use it on a Saturday when we’re not having games, the city could use it also.”
No voting on issues is permitted during work sessions and the issue of synthetic turf was not on the agenda at the voting meeting.
In other business, the future of the old Carroll Street Elementary School building was discussed. “We need to make a decision about that moving forward,” Faught said. “It’s just sitting there.”
The former elementary school is currently uninsured and repairs to the building, which has asbestos in it, could cost in excess of $2 million. Faught told the board the building that has been used since 2007 as a storage facility.
Faught said that to demolish the building would cost some $200,000. “I would say we should probably talk to the city and the people in that community first,” said EBOE member Reid Clark. “If we’re going to demo it, everybody needs to be involved.”
The board also approved entering a contract with TCU Consulting for $35,000 to oversee projects the board has scheduled to be completed.
“Over the last four or five years (ECS Maintenance Supervisor) Matt Routley and I have learned quite a bit about school construction and the more we’ve learned, the more we realized we don’t know,” Faught said. “We’re not professionals in the industry.
“The option is to hire someone who does this for a living,” Faught said in recommending TCU Consulting. “They will oversee the projects, help negotiate the architect and engineering fees and make sure that we end up with the correct architect and engineer.”
Faught said the school has had a positive experience working working together with the firm on the repairs to EHS. “While the school system has done a good job of handling change orders and value engineering issues up to this point, we are not adequately training to handle issues the same way industrial professionals would,” Faught said.
In unrelated business, Faught said that roofing repairs at Harrand Creek and Rucker Boulevard Elementary Schools and Dauphin Junior High School are a priority and estimated to cost some $400,000.
The EBOE also approved the purchase of a lawnmower from Dowling Tractor for $9,600.
The next meeting of the EBOE is Aug. 27 at the schools central office on Hutchinson Street. The meeting is open to the public.