By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon High School’s varsity baseball field – at least part of it – is getting new synthetic turf.
Yukon Public Schools’ 2021 bond issue will fund installation of new artificial turf in the infield at the baseball stadium on the YHS campus, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
The YPS Board of Education, at its Sept. 11th meeting, approved a proposal from General Sports Surfaces LLC to furnish and install the ProSport XPS synthetic turf system over the baseball infield area only.
Cost is about $640,000.
The board agreed with Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth’s recommendation to award a contract for just the infield turf.
“We’re going to start with the infield,” Simeroth said. “That should be finished by opening day, which we’re really, really excited about.
“Coach (Ryan) Phillips was thrilled, because 90-plus percent of the games that are canceled because of rain (is due to) the infield. The outfield has sufficient drains so we’re going to start with that.”
A synthetic turf surface requires much less maintenance and drains better than a regular grass/dirt field.
General Sports Surfaces had submitted a $1,645,100 “base bid” proposal for the entire YHS baseball field surface – infield and outfield. With other required expenses, the total cost would be around $1.7 million.
“That cost right now is flat-out more than we have allocated,” Simeroth told YPS board members.
The Fort Worth, Texas contractor will provide “factory-trained technicians” to install the turf featuring a “special mixture of sand and rubber to emulate clay”, according to alternate bid #1 signed by President Hector Puentes.
All components are designed and manufactured for use on outdoor athletic fields.
The YHS baseball infield turf project will include permanent foul lines, the bullpens and about 10 feet into the outfield to prepare for the next phase.
YPS officials are “comfortable doing the infield right now” and waiting before “jumping off on that other $1.1 million” for the outfield turf, according to Simeroth.
That’s because construction will start this fall on two other major bond projects on the YHS campus – a 150,000-square-foot YPS Instructional and Performing Arts Center and 91,000-square-foot Yukon Millers Athletic Facility.
As a member of a state purchasing cooperative, YPS chose General Sports Surfaces as the vendor to install the baseball field’s new turf.
“He’s done our tracks, he’s done our track repairs,” Simeroth said. “His company has done a lot of other schools.
“So, we are very, very comfortable with him.”
A new synthetic turf softball field was installed in summer 2022 on the YHS campus. The 2021 YPS bond paid for that $537,972 project.
“The people that won the bid didn’t do as good a job as we think they should have,” Simeroth pointed out. “We had to wind up spending another $20,000 approximately for repairs and corrections afterwards.
“It was a cluster. It threw us back probably a month or so starting to play on our home field that softball season.”
Plans also call for replacing the scoreboard at the YHS football field and a new video board in the gym.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Among other business items approved at September’s YPS board meeting were:
- Collective bargaining agreement for 2023-24 between YPS and the Yukon Professional Educators Association (YPEA). District compensation for certified personnel ranges from $49,100 to $80,854.84 for a bachelor’s degree, from $50,519.35 to $84,016.13 for a master’s degree and $51,938.71 to $87,044.09 for a doctorate degree – across 45 steps. Special and alternative education teachers receive about $2,500 more.
- Out-of-state travel requests for YHS pom, YHS yearbook, Yukon band, Yukon FFA, Lakeview women’s wrestling, boys’ and girls’ cross country, a Yukon Middle School math teacher, YPS’ special services director, and YPS’ athletic director.
- Renewed school resource officer (SRO) agreement with the Yukon Police Department and new service agreement with House of Healing’s equine program.
- Eighty-one school fund-raiser requests and 10 booster club sanctioning requests.