Forks School Board meets Tuesday to mull stadium bond, preschool program

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — The Quillayute Valley School Board will meet Tuesday to discuss the possibility of asking district voters to approve a capital project levy for a new Spartan Stadium, as well as to consider adding a full-time preschool program.

During the regular board meeting at 6 p.m. in the Forks High School library at 261 Spartan Ave., the board will continue preliminary discussions for the replacement of Spartan Stadium and playing field at Forks High School.

Planning for a new stadium is early in the process, and there is not yet an estimate for the dollar amount of the proposed levy or when it might appear on a ballot.

Board options for funding include using $1 million set aside for other capital projects, which could be used for a new synthetic turf field; donations for a new scoreboard; local donations for demolition; corporate donations for sponsorship; a capital projects levy to raise funds and restructure existing bonds to not raise the current tax rate; and to apply for a general contractor/construction manager to reduce overall costs and expedite the construction process.

A representative of FieldTurf, a manufacturer of artificial fields, will attend the meeting to provide specific information on synthetic turf.

Board members, concerned about the condition of Spartan Stadium, have asked whether Spartan Stadium could face the same fate as that of the stadium in Elma, in Gray’s Harbor County.

The stadium at Elma High School, built in 1949, was condemned and scheduled to be torn down in 2013 because it is no longer structurally safe.

In February, Elma voters denied the district funding to replace the structure, leaving the district without a stadium.

A special meeting to discuss the preschool will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the regular board meeting at 6 p.m.

The district now offers a daily 2.5 hour Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, which provides free preschool for low-income children to help prepare them for grade school.

Adding hours to the preschool program could potentially require grade reorganization to make room for the additional classrooms needed for the program.

The program now serves 52 students.

A restructuring committee will also discuss preschool expansion at 5 p.m. Wednesday and at 5 p.m. April 16 at the Olympic Natural Resources Center, 1455 S. Forks Ave.

A public hearing is planned at 5 p.m. April 22 during a special board meeting at the Forks High School, followed by discussion at a regular board meeting at 6 p.m.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 06. 2014 6:22PM
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