More turf funds OK’d

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis School board took care of a few extra points from the surface conversion at Leon Williams Stadium.

During the board’s visitation meeting Tuesday at Lincoln-Jackson Family Center, the board approved approximately $106,000 in bond money to go toward the stadium, which is being converted to an artificial surface to increase the field’s usability and decrease water costs.

The three items considered were:

• $67,000 to repair broken pipes discovered during construction at the stadium

• $17,000 for work that would give the Clovis High Band access to electrical utilities for shows

• $22,000 for end zone graphics — “Clovis” in one and “Wildcats” the other.

The board had previously approved a $560,000 contract with to Pittsburgh-based ProGrass to install the turf, paid for through private donations and a $12-million general obligation bond voters passed in January.

The turf is scheduled to be installed between Aug. 21 and Aug. 25, Clovis Athletic Director Brian Stacy said. End zone lettering is optional because some stadiums host multiple schools — such as the Wool Bowl in Roswell, another ProGrass field.

Clovis athletic director Brian Stacy said the lettering would be done through a melding process when the turf was on the field.

Some of the board members said they were under the impression end zone graphics were included in the original proposal. Stacy said the original contract was for only the turf.

Donations covered optional items such as a Wildcat logo at midfield, but Stacy said donations didn’t cover the end zone lettering.

The first two items were combined into a work order ratification, which was approved 5-0.

The end zone lettering was approved 4-1, with Lora Harlan voting no. She wasn’t against the graphics, but felt booster clubs would have likely raised some or all of the necessary funds if they were previously notified.

Stacy said the school district would save about $85,000 annually on maintenance costs with the surface, and would gain other benefits from the surface’s durability. A turf field could host Clovis practices and events for band, football and soccer.

The grass surface was used almost exclusively for football games.

In other business at the meeting:

• Board members approved $88,950 for the purchase of a new refrigerator/freezer to be placed on the school’s maintenance property on Llano Estacado Boulevard.

Joel Shirley, deputy superintendent of operations for the district, said the larger unit — approximately 19 feet by 44 feet — would save the district nearly $30,000 per year because food suppliers could deliver larger food shipments and save on freight.

Shirley estimated the refrigerator/freezer would last at least 25 years.

• Board members approved a resolution of a 403(b) plan document.

Regulations from the Internal Revenue Service require written documentation of the tax sheltered annuity program offered to educational employees.

The school currently has seven provider options, and would consider adding any other provider that five or more employees request.