Whitney Field improvements discussed at school board meeting

Cary Ashby • Updated Jan 9, 2019 at 10:41 AM

The Whitney Field Improvement Committee has a list of priorities for improvements they would like to see done.

Josh Schlotterer, Norwalk High School director of student activities, presented the information to the Norwalk City Schools board of education Tuesday. He said committee members representing the district and St. Paul High School — which make up the committee — see the two highest priorities as the visitors bleachers and the turf/field conditions. 

“We are open to recommendations and what we need to do,” Schlotterer told the board, noting the Whitney Field Improvement Committee wanted board members’ feedback before proceeding.

Other projects on the wish list include fencing, the parking lot, restrooms and concession stands. Schlotterer said members of the business community and athletic boosters have reached out with interest in doing “in-kind labor” or making donations.

“There’s a lot of support right now,” he added.

Board member John Lendrum said he wants to see a long-term plan and blueprint for the cost of the projects and how to spend the money. Schlotterer said he has reached out to turf and track specialists as part of his research.

Soon after the district hired Superintendent George Fisk four years ago, he said he met with Dennis Doughty, Norwalk Catholic School president, about how the two school systems could cooperate and collaborate so they could best benefit Norwalk-area students. Fisk also said the proposed projects at Whitney Field are possible because of the subsequent cooperation between the district and St. Paul and they will impact all students in the area.

“It shows what working together really does,” he said.

“The relationship with St. Paul has never been better,” Schlotterer added.

Board member Steve Linder asked about the possibility of having a facility similar to Whitney Field on or near the NHS property. Fisk said it’s much more cost effective to make improvements to Whitney and noted to have a new facility would require tearing down “a relatively new building.”

Schlotterer agreed, saying it would cost “significantly less” to improve Whitney Field.

In other action Tuesday, the board accepted the bids through the Ohio Schools Council and contract for two 84-passenger Puller Blue Bird T3FE 4004 school buses at a unit cost of $95,989.

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