The clock is ticking on two eight-year warranties for the turf and the drainage system liner, both set to expire this year

The Rose Hill School Board watched a robot demonstration and honored a principal at its meeting Nov. 11 before spending an hour discussing the lack of progress on fixing the high school’s football field.

The football field was installed by ATG Sports Industries in 2005. Engineers have confirmed the drainage system purchased from Airfield Systems is defective, allowing water to seep through to the subsurface. Soft spots and depressions in the turf are the result.

The question of which entity is responsible for replacing the drainage system is disputed. The cost of the liner is overshadowed by the labor costs involved in peeling back and replacing the turf in order to repair the liner. Contracts with the companies required mediation, which was unsuccessful, and arbitration, which has not progressed.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking on two eight-year warranties for the turf and the drainage system liner, both set to expire this year.

School Superintendent Randall Chickadonz said Airfield Systems has not agreed to any of the suggested arbitration personnel, thus stalling progress toward a solution.

The board asked the district’s attorney prepare a report on the parameters of the arbitration process and possible options for the December board meeting. A representative from ATG will also be invited to address questions from the board.

In a discussion about security, Chickadonz said one of the school’s site councils had inquired about the need for a buzz-in system for entry into school builsings. Board members requested him to have the district’s insurance company assess overall campus security.

The superintendent’s report included a brief discussion about future state funding. Chickadonz said legislators are reportedly looking into various school funding formulas from other states. He mentioned a brochure from legislators circulating at a recent gathering of school superintendents, which presented two options, raising per-pupil K-12 funding while cutting higher education funds or raising local property taxes. There was no mention in the brochure of a third option, he said, which would be to alter the changes in the state’s income tax system that led to the reduction in projected state revenue.

Before the turf discussion, USD 394’s High School Robotics team presented this year’s entry, which took the third place Best Award in local competition. The team will head to regional competition Dec. 5 in Fort Smith, Ark. This is the fifth time Rose Hill has advanced to regional competition in the 15 years of the program.

The board also recognized Rose Hill Middle School Principal Kay Walker, who is the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals Area 4 honoree. The group of more than 400 secondary principals in Kansas evaluates candidates on school leadership, school improvement, dedication, professionalism and service to students.