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story.lead_photo.caption The Springdale Public Schools Administration Offices located in the Historic Springdale High School. - Photo by David Gottschalk

SPRINGDALE -- Construction of baseball and softball fields at two of the high schools has fallen behind schedule and the fields won't be ready for this spring season as officials once had hoped.

Jared Cleveland, deputy superintendent, apologized upon sharing the news with the School Board at its meeting Monday. This winter's rain has been the main complication for the projects, soaking the fields so that cranes necessary to erect light poles can't make it out there.

"We knew it would be a challenge," Cleveland said. "We thought we might have an opportunity to get it done if we had a good winter. So far the winter, as far as mildness, has been OK at times. It's the wet, and the wet is a real challenge."

The Springdale High School and Har-Ber High School baseball and softball teams play games off campus at city parks. Having facilities on their respective campuses where the teams can play is ideal from a safety perspective and will cut back on the traveling those teams must do, Cleveland said.

The district is spending a total of about $2 million to make baseball and softball fields on the schools' campuses appropriate for game play. That price includes about $800,000 for light towers, which were delivered to the schools months ago. The weather, however, has not permitted the conditions necessary to install the towers.

Kevin Ownbey, board president, asked for reassurance the new fields will be comparable to or better than the fields where the teams currently play.

They will be, Cleveland said. The projects have been on a tight timeline since they started last year, and initially there was a rush put on them that resulted in some mistakes, he said.

"So we've reset and said, 'OK, we're going to focus on quality, quality, quality and look at every detail,'" Cleveland said.

Also at Monday's meeting, the board approved a calendar for the 2019-20 school year, one of two calendar proposals that had been considered and voted on by the district's classified and certified staff members.

About 64 percent of the staff voted for proposal A, which is virtually identical to this year's calendar. Proposal A had the first day of school for students as Aug. 13, which is a Tuesday, one day earlier than proposal B's starting date. Proposal A also had the school year ending the Friday before Memorial Day, whereas proposal B had it ending the day after Memorial Day.

The board unanimously adopted proposal A.

NW News on 02/12/2019

Print Headline: Work delayed on ballfields at Springdale schools

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