MG School Board hears track/field construction timeline

By Alberta Stojkovic - For The Sentinel

The Sept. 21 Mount Gilead School Board meeting opened with a presentation by architect Todd Wrobleski of a timeline for the high school’s track and field replacement.

Wrobleski said the biggest decision will be whether to go with a synthetic or natural turf for the field.

The track and field survey has been completed and soil samples need to be taken next along with drilling holes in the track to get the depth of the asphalt.

A consultant on turf will be visiting the Mount Gilead track and field in the next couple weeks. Wrobleski plans to do more research on the various types of turf. Bermuda grass is one type of natural turf he described. It can be installed in swags and in 13 weeks it develops into a usable field.

February and March of 2022 were the proposed dates for receiving contractor’s proposals. Demolition of the track and field is slated to begin in June with work completed in October of 2022. It’s possible the first couple of football games would be scheduled as away games.

Football and track coaches were present at the meeting.

“I am so happy to know we are doing something” in replacing the track and field, said football coach Mike Reid.

Reid expressed concerns that it is important to have turf that will sustain fewer leg injuries for players. The present field can be very hard and can cause injuries.

Both track coach Lauren Huelsman and cross country coach Jake Hayes ask that the board not think short-term in planning, but make sure the project is coordinated for future development.

Board member Brandie Salisbury suggested a “field trip” where several can get a look at Bermuda grass and other kinds of turf.

The board agreed with Wrobleski that a committee with coaches, administrators and board members can communicate about the project.

Athletic Director Jack Bault noted the district has many other factors to consider such as fencing around the field, lighting and sound system.

In other business:

• After-school Program Director Erin Whipple presented information about the before and after school program and “Chiefs’ Club” activities. The program will begin in October and open 6 a.m. for breakfast at Park Avenue Elementary.

About 60 families have shown an interest in the program for their children. The deadline for registration is Sept. 30. The before and after school program is funded by a grant for five years. Partnership is with the Galion YMCA.

• Employment was approved for cafeteria workers, bus drivers and a substitute nurse.

• College Credit Plus Course Instructors approved with Marion Technical College are: Maureen Flora, Jennifer Hensley and Mike Reid. For Training KRA Modules: Shannon Sykes and Whitney Swinehart.

• Supplemental contracts were approved for Volleyball, girls’ basketball and cheerleading along with Building Leadership Teams and Behavioral Intervention Support for High School, Middle School and Elementary grades.

By Alberta Stojkovic

For The Sentinel