School board hears about synthetic turf proposal

Published 7:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2015

NEW FIELD: James Bateman with EnviroTurf pitches his idea to install a synthetic turf on Picayune’s Football field. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

NEW FIELD: James Bateman with EnviroTurf pitches his idea to install a synthetic turf on Picayune’s Football field.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Tuesday, members of the board of trustees for the Picayune Separate Municipal School District heard a proposal from James Bateman concerning the possibility of upgrading the football stadium to a synthetic turf.
Recently the board authorized Bateman to conduct a feasibility study, he said, which involved speaking with local business owners and community members about the possibility of contributing to the project either through in kind services, advertising or donations. Bateman is the Chief Executive Officer for EnviroTurf.
One of the features of the proposed synthetic field entails advertising opportunities along the sidelines.
The estimated price to conduct the improvement, which would include base work and the turf, is $654,000, Bateman said.
He told the board that he felt he could raise all of the funds needed to conduct the work within 30 days, but when asked what would happen if he couldn’t, Bateman said the board would be responsible for the difference. However, if the total amount could not be raised the board still had the option to not move forward with the project.
When asked by the board, Athletic Director Walt Esslinger said the district currently invests between $38,000 to $50,000 annually in field maintenance.
Bateman estimated it would cost about $200,000 to make the current football field playable again and another $200,000 to renovate the practice football field.
The funds raised for the synthetic turf would be considered a donation to the district by the school’s booster club, Bateman said.
Any part of the project the district would have to pay for would have to be bid out, if they exceed the state requirements for bidding a project.
After some additional questions were answered, the board approved a motion to allow Bateman to set about seeking donations and funding.
The board also discussed some 16th section land rental prices that were tabled from the last meeting. Finance Administrator Lisa Penton said she adjusted the increases to the lowest possible figure the state allows. The increases were necessary due to new land appraisals, which are required by the state on a regular basis. One commercial property will now increase from $4,020 per month to $6,150, while a second smaller commercial lot will increase from $540 to $900. She said she also waived the 5 percent management fee. The board approved the adjustments.
Another attempt to receive bids on an old portable building failed. Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said a church is interested in taking the building off the district’s hands, and will also pay to move the building, if it is donated to them. The board approved a motion to let the church have the portable building.
In other business the board approved:
— Accepting a grant to the Nicholson Elementary gifted program for $700 to provide a field trip to the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs.
— Accepted a grant of $48,000 to Roseland Park Elementary’s literacy program to be used during the current school year.
The next school board meeting will be Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox