By JIM MAURER
CAREY — Dan Vaughn, with the Carey Athletic Boosters, and Joey Roark, high school baseball coach, discussed plans for construction of new baseball and softball fields on Carey school property at the school board’s regular meeting Monday.
The high school baseball team plays on a nearby diamond in Memorial Park, which is used by other teams throughout the year. The softball team plays on a diamond at Waterworks Park on the western edge of the village.
The two new diamonds would be used only by the high school teams, Roark said.
The facility would include a press box designed for use on both fields, and a concession stand, Vaughn said. Split-face block would be used in the construction, and fences would be navy blue to match the school colors.
The fields would have turf grass infields, with dirt cutouts around the bases, which would save on maintenance costs, Roark said.
Vaughn said he has received pledges of about $150,000 from businesses and individuals toward the more than $265,000 expense. The total does not include field lights, which could be installed later.
The athletic boosters plan to sell commemorative bricks to businesses and individuals to help defray a portion of the cost.
The school board was asked to cover any funds not received by the athletic boosters, which would donate any excess funds to the school district, Vaughn said.
The board supported the idea, but took no action, wanting to wait for comments from board member Greg McCartney, who was absent Monday.
Work could begin later this year and the fields may be ready for play near the end of the 2019 seasons, Vaughn said.
The nearby baseball field has been used since the 1960s, Roark said.
Separately, the school board unanimously approved a resolution in opposition to a state House bill which would consolidate the state Department of Education, the state Department of Higher Education and the governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation into a single state department, to be called the Department of Learning and Achievement.
District Treasurer Karen Phillips will send copies of the board’s resolution to members of the state House of Representatives and state Senate.
The bill would transfer most duties and authority of the state Board of Education and superintendent of public instruction to the new department.
The bill was drafted without input from the groups which would be affected, including students, parents, educators, administrators, board members, schools and school districts.
“Important decisions on topics like school funding, graduation requirements, report cards and state assessments would be made by politically appointed, unelected staff with little to no accountability and under a process with almost no public input,” the resolution states.
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