CALUMET CITY | The athletic field used by the girl’s softball program at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing will get a series of improvements in coming months.
The School Board for Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215 on Tuesday approved an improvement plan, which schools Superintendent Creg Williams said could cost as much as $65,000.
He said that figure breaks down to about $20,000 for replacing the fences around the field, about $15,000 to resurface the playing field that currently is uneven with a steep downward slope, another $10,000 to repair the field’s sprinkler system and the remainder to rebuild dugouts and a storage place for equipment used to maintain the field.
But Williams said the Olympia Fields-based firm of Planera Architects Inc. donated its time toward preparing a design for the new facility for the Rebels’ softball program. He also said there may be some donations of building materials to be used for the project. which also will help hold down costs.
The project will be done with a combination of volunteer labor and outside contractors, Williams said.
Williams said demolition of the existing dugouts will start in coming weeks, as officials want to get as much of the work done before winter.
The actual infield and foul lines will remain in place, but the new facility will have at least 25 feet of foul territory, which means the spectators' bleachers will have to be reconfigured to ensure the overall facility fits within the same space.
A memorandum from Planera Architects to Williams says that all grass areas will be replaced with sod, and the infield will be repaired with an infield mix material.
In a separate matter, the School Board approved a change to the contract with the teachers union to specify that the pompon coaches at the high schools who are compensated for their work with school clubs and activities will no longer exist. They will be replaced with competitive dance coaches whose work will be compensated from funds under school athletic programs.