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Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Baughman Stadium sale OK'd

City plans youth activities

By Sydney Albert
ST. MARYS - Board of education members on Wednesday approved the sale of Skip Baughman Stadium to the city of St. Marys for $200,000, with the facility to be used for youth sporting events.
"It's tough. Having played there as a player, and having coached there as a coach, it's a great facility," superintendent Bill Ruane told the newspaper. "I look forward to the city using it as (part of) the youth football program, and it will continue to build future Roughriders for years to come."
Ruane said he's excited that kids now have a set place to practice and play football, rather than being spread over different areas. And as children move on to high school, they will have access to a newer stadium attached to the high school campus, he continued.
City council members last month passed an emergency resolution to purchase the 11.959 acres of land at Skip Baughman Stadium by a 6-1 vote. Council member Jim Christman voted against the measure but made no comment.
The ordinance was deemed an emergency because school officials need the money to pay for stands at the new football stadium.
The board of education's resolution states that proceeds from the sale must be designated only for capital expenditures.
The district will retain ownership of an additional 1.712 acres along Front Street, where Cook Gymnasium and an accompanying parking lot are located.
Much of the land to be purchased by the city lies in a floodplain. Plans call for developing sports fields and maintaining the current football field for youth football. Also, an open-air entertainment amphitheater is to be erected, according to information provided at Wednesday's meeting.
A portion of the land on the corner of South and Front streets would be suitable for a housing subdivision, condominiums or multiple-family housing, to be decided at a later date, according to the information. Ownership of that land would be controlled by city council.
Board of education members on Wednesday also approved the following capital projects for this year:
• placing $60,000 into a reserve account potentially to be used for other future improvement projects, such as fixing cracked sidewalks, installing a new public address system or new surveillance and security systems.
• $50,000 for technology upgrades, including replacing old projectors that are starting to burn out and possibly getting teaching boards with touchscreen technology. Some of the money could possibly come from the Locally Funded Initiative account.
• $29,125 to purchase a new van.
• $27,000 toward the Bureau of Workers' Compensation Safety Allocation.
• $26,083 for Wi-Fi access improvements. Current Wi-Fi access points are about eight or 10 years old, according to Ruane. The amount would cover 30 percent of the project and E-Rate funding from the Ohio Department of Education would pay for the other 70 percent.
• $22,000 for a new telephone system.
• $15,000 to improve the intermediate school soccer field. The work would essentially be surface repair to fix low spots on the field that have become safety concerns and would involve fixing drainage issues by getting rid of old clay dirt in the field and replacing it with better soil.
• $14,000 for new batting cages at Cook Gym. Board president Brian Little said the batting cages could still come in under that cost.
• $10,000 for band instruments. Ruane said the all-brass band is a tradition for the school but one that requires more upkeep. The $10,000 would cover part of the costs for instruments, and band parents would also pay into a fund, he said.
• $5,000 for various track equipment.
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