Booster Club presents press box proposal

They like the press box idea, but they’d like to see it done for less. This is the message given to the Sabetha Booster Club from the Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education during the board’s regular meeting held Monday, Dec. 11.

The Sabetha Booster Club has been working on the press box project for awhile, and has been using numerous volunteer hours to plan the building and conduct fundraising, according to representatives John Pierson and Scott Burger.

What the Booster Club proposed to the board is a new, three-story press box set in the same location as the current press box at Sabetha High School. Total estimated cost for the project is $150,000, Pierson said, and the Booster Club is asking that the district cover half of it. In turn, the Booster Club would provide $35,000 in funding, and the Club would seek out $40,000 in advertisers — preferably four $10,000 commitments.

Board member Leslie Scoby asked how long the current press box has been there. Superintendent Todd Evans said he believes it was built in the late 1970s.

Board member Jeff DeMint asked if a specifications sheet had been prepared to give out in the bidding process. Pierson said yes.

Board member Kent Saylor said he wondered if money could be saved by using the existing foundation and structure but adding the staircase behind the base frame, as well as the additional story.

Burger said he had concerns with structural issues that could be run into doing that.

Saylor said he would just like to see that option considered, with the questions about stability asked to a build expert.

“Let’s just see if any money could be knocked off this,” Saylor said.

“It doesn’t cost any money to ask questions, so I’m confident you all will ask these questions,” board member Kathy Lippert said.

Board member Jim Scoby noted that the district has some substantial upcoming projects also coming out of capital outlay. He said it is going to be hard for him to allocate $75,000 to this project.

“I’d go along with Kent. Let’s get someone in there to see if it [existing press box] can be beefed up,” J. Scoby said. “If it can, great. If it can’t, we can come back and talk about it.”

Evans asked the board what steps they wanted to take from here.

Pierson said he needed to know if the board has an interest in this project, because he did not want to spend time moving forward if the interest is not there.

L. Scoby said she believes something has to be done about the press box, and she is in favor of the project. She said she believes professional advertising would be acceptable.

DeMint asked if the board would be willing to fund half the cost, and set a ceiling limit. This would allow the Booster Club to have an idea of how much they have to raise, he said, depending on whether they do the project as presented or whether they can save money by building upon the existing structure. Lippert and L. Scoby said they would support that.

Board member Kent Kuckelman said he has a problem with it, because last year the district would not spend $75,000 to fix a gym ceiling at Wetmore because it was not an “academic necessity.” He said he believes that was much more necessary, as children are in that gym every day.

Also, Kuckelman said, Axtell put up a new press box recently and relied entirely on volunteers and fundraising. It seems like a lot of money for a press box, and he believes the cost could be reduced.

Saylor said he would be interested in setting the board’s limit at $60,000, to encourage “getting the sharp pencil out.”

Saylor made a motion that the board would support half of the project cost up to but not exceeding $60,000. The motion was seconded by L. Scoby. It was approved 5-2, with DeMint, L. Scoby, Saylor, Lippert and board member Ed Reznicek in favor; and Kuckelman and J. Scoby opposed.

Next, the board discussed whether advertising would be allowed. The board unanimously approved allowing professional looking advertising on the press box. The proposal of advertisers, look of advertising and size would be subject to final approval by the board.

See full meeting minutes, beginning on Page 5B of this week’s Herald.

Amber Deters122 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.

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