Columbia School Board talks turf

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Columbia Superintendent Gina Segobiano told the Columbia School Board at last Tuesday’s April meeting that the district is in the early stages of replacing the turf at its multi-purpose field. 

The district recently noticed a problem with the turf when Byrne & Jones Construction was resurfacing its track. 

The company performed a visual inspection and determined the quantity of shedding from the field was abnormal.  

“It just seems excessive,” Segobiano said. “Like if you would sit down on our field and get up, you would have the fibers on you.”  

The district then contacted the field’s manufacturer, AstroTurf, which performed its own inspection. The district is now moving ahead with AstroTurf to replace the field. 

The field was installed in 2012 with a projected 10-12 year lifespan, according to Segobiano. 

It also came with an eight-year warranty.

“The timing is right,” Segobiano said of replacing the turf. “If we exercise the warranty, I’m not sure if it will be full replacement or prorated. I don’t know. I will get back to you.” 

Ideally, the district would replace the field this summer, but given the time it takes to manufacture and order the turf it may not take place until this winter or next summer. 

In an immediate financial matter, the board approved the purchase of seven carts of Google Chromebooks. The planned expenditure costs $59,740. 

Each school in the district will get an additional cart, while two of the carts will replace current ones. 

“Chromebooks have a life cycle, so we have to plan on replacing them,” Segobiano explained. “But we also like to add Chromebooks when teachers are ready to utilize them.” 

In personnel matters, the board approved the assignment of Scott Horner as athletic director and Brooks Demijan as high school boys’ varsity basketball coach. 

Before any of that took place, newly elected board member Greg Meyer spoke during the public comment section of the meeting.

Meyer said he believed the board should not be holding the meeting, presumably because it had not yet sworn in new board members. That means Randy Simmonds and Ted Schrader were still on the board.

Meyer said he did not think there was anything too impactful on the agenda, however, so holding the meeting was not a critical issue.  

Meyer also “respectfully” requested the board move its organizational meeting scheduled for April 30 to a date last week, as he could not make the meeting because he has a planned trip out of the country. 

Meyer said he would cancel the trip if the meeting was substantial, but all that was planned for April 30 was the swearing in of new board members and election of board positions. 

Multiple board members had conflicts during other proposed meeting times, so the meeting date remains the same. 

Board president Scott Middelkamp said he checked with the district’s attorney and confirmed Meyer could be sworn in at the beginning of the next regularly scheduled board meeting. 

Simmonds was not present at the April 30 meeting, however, meaning last week’s gathering was his last after six years of service on the board. Segobiano thanked Simmonds for his service. 

“(He) has helped us tremendously with different projects that aligned with his area of expertise,” she said. “We thank you for your time and commitment to the school district.” 

Everyone at the meeting applauded Simmonds, who will receive a plaque for his service.

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