By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
McCOMB — McComb school board approved a $461,000 bleacher replacement project Wednesday at its first meeting of the year.
The district had been told by Phelan Insurance Agency that it needed to either replace or renovate the bleachers at Doc Miller Field because the open space under each row of seating was a liability, Transportation and Maintenance Supervisor Luke Ewing said. That space will be enclosed in the new bleachers, so that children cannot slip through and trash cannot be thrown underneath.
Ewing said the district chose to get new bleachers because renovating the old bleachers would have cost 80 percent of the replacement cost. The bleachers are at least 50 years old, he said.
The new home-side bleachers will seat 1,041 fans (down slightly from 1,049) and the side for visitors will seat 500 (up from 480).
The project will also include a portable set of bleachers for the band, which would also provide room for more spectators, and a sound system for the home side. Those were among optional items the board chose to approve in addition to the base cost of $394,414.
“Our stands are full as is,” said board member Anthony Stateler, adding that he expects more people to use the new bleachers rather than continuing to stand around the field.
A powder coating in a color yet to be determined — likely red or black — will be applied to some parts of the home bleachers.
“For $3,100 it’s going to have a much more home feel,” said seventh- to 12th-grade Principal Jeremy Herr.
Separately, the board approved a five-year contract extension for Ewing. It also amended the contracts of Ewing, Herr, Treasurer Linda Clymer, and kindergarten to sixth-grade Principal Matt Davis to include reimbursement for professional development and tuition. Teachers already receive the reimbursement.
During its organizational meeting, the board elected Rob Quiroga as president and Rachelle Inbody-Bormuth as vice president.