Turf talk at Waterloo School Board

Plans to place artificial turf on the Waterloo High School baseball field were one of the bigger topics of discussion during the Waterloo School Board meeting on June 28.

Waterloo Superintendent of Schools Brian Charron said the plans are merely being discussed at this point, as the community has demonstrated some interest in gathering donations for this renovation.

Waterloo Athletic Director Brian Unger spoke about the plans at the meeting. He said the infield would cost about $385,000 to replace turf, while the entire field would cost about $750,000.

About one-third of the cost to make the infield turf has been secured.

Unger said a project like this would pay for itself in about six to seven years, citing research he did during his previous job in Quincy. He added that the life expectancy of the renovation would be about 10-15 years.

The main benefit of the project, as Unger described, is that the field would be usable even in poor weather. He referenced the recent especially rainy spring which resulted in a lot of canceled games, hindering the 2022 high school baseball season.

“My hope and thought with this is, we turf that infield, you’re impacting our freshman, JV, and varsity baseball teams so you’re basically eliminating rainouts,” Unger said. “Unless it’s raining that day while the game is going on, you’re gonna play because you really don’t cancel baseball games because of outfield grass.”

Unger also said further additions to the field would be beneficial like some kind of stadium seating and a sound system.

Another update for the school board came from technology director Nick Hergenroeder, who spoke about the progress of tech improvements in the district over the summer.

Some of the bigger points he mentioned included a back order on parts for the high school’s cameras, another back order on parts for the sound system in the main gym, and the fact that quotes for improvements to the WHS auditorium were too high to be feasible.

Hergenroeder added that the recent major purchase of Chromebooks means the district is “most definitely” at a one-to-one technology ratio from kindergarten through eighth grade and are practically so in the high school.

The board unanimously approved authorization for the superintendent to oversee HVAC system upgrades at Rogers Elementary and Gardner Elementary with a limit of just under $19,000.

The board also approved the hiring of a new pre-K to fifth grade curriculum coordinator, high school guidance counselor, two junior high literature teachers, a junior high PE teacher and an elementary music teacher.

Updates from district principals largely focused on general maintenance, cleaning and other preparations for the upcoming school year.

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Andrew Unverferth

HTC web