By Elise Fisch
The Florida Union Free School District Board of Education held a work session meeting on Thurs., Nov. 5 to discuss progress on the Capital Project.
Representatives from both BBS Architects and Triton Construction were present to discuss the details pertaining to the seeding or sodding of the new athletic fields at S.S. Seward Institute, as part of the district’s Capital Project. Both companies have been involved in every aspect of the Project and were helpful in answering any questions that would aid the members of the Board in moving closer to a final decision. Though seed started out as the preferred choice of the district, now that winter is fast approaching, the Board believes it will be in their best interests to rely on the quick installation and durability of sod for their new athletic fields.
Board member Robert Scheuermann brought up the possibility of installing a turf cover over the fields in order to protect the seedlings during the coming winter months. However, to do so would require more research, materials, and labor that would only delay the project further, and the pressure of time is an important factor in the next few weeks.
The cost difference is that of about $35,000, with sod being the more expensive option of the two. However, seeding the fields will mean that they won’t be ready for use until spring, or more likely fall, of 2022, and may require fertilization and pesticide use. This would mean that students would not be able to use the fields in the days following the pesticide application.
The sod, though it comes at a higher price, will be ready to use as early as fall of 2021, and comes with the benefit of “instant gratification” as it will be able to hold up to rough usage sooner than the seeded grass.
BBS Architects will be preparing the contract between the district and Turco, the contractors who have been chosen to install the sod. The sod itself will come from Connecticut, as the sod available locally is not compatible with the type of soil being dealt with for this project. The final decision will be made by the Board at their next meeting later this month.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the surrounding areas, Board members have begun to develop a plan of action in case the district is declared a yellow zone, though the numbers within the district are not yet near that level.
Superintendent Jan Jehring is looking into contracts with state-suggested companies that could bring testing sites to the school parking lot in the event that testing becomes mandated by the government. The school district will be required to pay the coronavirus testing company, and individual insurance will be accepted at the time of testing.
The next meeting of the FUFSD Board of Education will be held on Thurs., Nov 19, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at S. S. Seward Institute located at 51 N. Main St. in Florida.