By David Barber
After several minutes of discussion, the Canton School Board voted 6-1 Monday night to replace the field turf at the high school football stadium with the same material that was originally used.
The action was taken during the regular monthly meeting of the trustees.
The vote to replace the current turf with the original material known as Duraspine came after it was pointed out to the board in last month’s meeting that the fiber underneath the synthetic turf at the football field had failed.
After Canton Independent School District Superintendent Jay Tullos and Canton ISD Athletic Director Robert Ivey, FieldTurf, the company that installed the turf in 2007, offered the school district two options for the replacement of the field.
The first option, which was approved by the trustees Monday night, would be replaced by the company at no cost to the school district.
The current field turf is in year six of an eight-year warranty.
It was pointed out by the superintendent and several of the board members that the advantage to the first option was that there would be no cost to the district but the negative would be that the warranty will be only for two more years.
The second option presented to the board was a plan to upgrade to the newly developed turf known as Revolution turf.
Normally, the cost to install Revolution turf would be in the range of $400,000-$450,000 but due to the current circumstances, FieldTurf offered the school district the opportunity to install the surface at a total cost of $175,000 with a new eight-year warranty.
Board members and the superintendent emphasized that the advantage to installing the Revolution turf would be a new upgraded field with a new eight-year warranty but it was noted that even at a discounted cost of $175,000, it is still a big expense.
Both options were discussed at length before the vote was taken with trustee Reagan Sumner, who voiced his support for the Revolution turf option, being the lone vote against the first option.
In other business, no action was taken by the trustees on a closed session agenda item to “consider the deployment, specific occasions for, or implementation of, security personnel, or devices.”
Following the closed session, Tullos emphasized that the school district is looking into all options on the subject of school security.
“We are not rushing to any kind of decision,” said Tullos. “We are continuing to gather information from other school districts on this issue and we are reviewing all of our security equipment and making changes as necessary.”
A final decision on an updated plan concerning school security by the board could be voted on in the next couple of months, Tullos said.
During the open session, Tullos commented to the trustees that school security has been a “huge topic” of discussion in recent weeks.
The superintendent reported that a meeting of 10 school superintendents from inside and outside Van Zandt County was held to discuss school security.
“It is important that we take the proper steps to make sure that kids are safe in our schools,” pointed out Tullos to the board.
The superintendent also expressed his appreciation to all of the area police, fire and sheriff’s departments for their assistance in getting involved with the school district.
“We currently have an officer present at out elementary campus to meet and greet the children and the parents in the mornings,” said Tullos. “We are continuing drills at our campuses and updating our equipment. All options must be explored and we have to be ready to answer all questions before making any final decisions. We know that there will be criticism regardless of what direction we go on school security.”’
In addition to school security, Tullos had several other topics to present during the Superintendent’s Report given to the trustees.
Tullos congratulated the high school archery team for winning the state competition for the fourth year in a row the Canton Eaglettes varsity girls basketball team for reaching the playoffs.
Also, the superintendent announced that two recent fund raisers were successful including the Foundation Gala which raised over $10,000 and the Bachelors in Black program that cleared over $6,700.
The following administrator contracts were extended by the school board following a closed session:
Principals: Joe Nicks, high school; Amy Autry, junior high; Marsha Robison, intermediate and Kelly Lamar, elementary.
Vice-Principals: Dusty Spencer, junior high; Angie McLeod, intermediate and Carlon Branson, elementary.
Administration: Nerissa Erickson, grant writer; Robert Ivey, athletic director; Denise Stone, business; Noah Taylor, technology and Rob Toups, fine arts.
The trustee election for Saturday, May 11 was officially called by the board.
Board members also approved a Joint Election Agreement with the city of Canton.
A contract for election services between Canton ISD and Van Zandt County Clerk Charlotte Bledsoe was approved.
Changes to the Canton High School Cheerleader Constitution for the 2013-14 school year were approved by the trustees and include the following:
Article 3 (Members): The junior varsity squad will consist of eight to 12 members from grades 9-12. These members will be selected on a sliding scale. If there are 15 or less trying out for junior varsity, after varsity has been selected, eight candidates will make up the team. If there are more than 15 trying out for junior varsity, after varsity has been selected, 12 candidates will make up the team.
Article 4 (Cheerleading section), item 9: The line reading “the current cheerleaders will teach this clinic” was removed.
Article 4, item 12: The line reading “experienced, qualified and knowledge of cheerleading” concerning judges was removed.
Article 16 (Cheerleader camp): The line reading “The school will provide transportation” was removed. The line reading “varsity camp money is paid for by the school district” was removed. The line reading “Junior varsity cheerleaders/mascots are responsible for their own camp fee. Varsity cheerleaders/mascot will have their fee paid by the school” was removed.
The 2013-14 Canton ISD calendar was approved with the first day of school scheduled for August 26, 2013 and graduation set for May 30, 2014.
An interlocal agreement with TIPS/TAPS purchasing cooperative was approved. The purchasing cooperative is sponsored by the Region VII Educational Service Center and was created to serve public and private school districts, colleges and universities, federal, state, county and city municipalities, according to the superintendent.
Tullos said that the purpose of the program is to provide substantial savings and best values for participating educational entities or public agencies through cooperative purchasing practices at no cost for memberships.
A tax refund for a Canton ISD resident effective for the 2010-2012 tax years was approved.
A resolution was approved by the trustees to consider all matters incident and related to the Issuance and Sale of “Canton ISD Unlimited Tax Refunding Bonds, Series 2013.
This included the “adoption of an order authorizing the issuance of such bonds, establishing parameters for the sale and issuance of such bonds and delegating certain matters to an authorized official of the district.”
Another resolution approved by the board members involved “the consideration of all matters incident and related to providing for the redemption of certain outstanding obligations of the Canton ISD, including the adoption of a resolution pertaining thereto.”
A report on the school district’s bond redemption analysis and preliminary refunding analysis was presented and approved by the board.
The minutes of the January 14 board meeting and school board training meeting on February 13 were approved as well as the reports on financial status, budget status and tax collections.