A third-grade classroom will be added to Rose Hill Elementary School for the second semester, and bids will go out for stadium improvements

A third-grade classroom will be added to Rose Hill Elementary School for the second semester, and bids will go out in February for stadium improvements, the USD 394 School Board decided at its meeting Monday.

Increased class sizes are “a true product of an underfunded budget,” Superintendent Randal Chickadonz told the board.

A third-grade teaching position wasn’t filled at the beginning of this academic year, but the enrollment of an extra eight students pushed some classrooms to 27 students. An additional teacher, Daniel Kauffman, will head a classroom for the spring semester, bringing the third grade to five sections.

The board also reviewed two designs for improvements to the district stadium. The main entrance to the stadium would be moved to the west side, with the addition of an arched entryway, restrooms, a storage area and a concrete plaza area among the details presented. Other possible items are a re-skinning of existing stadium walls and some paving.

Board members asked pricing for various options be presented at the next board meeting. These options include adding a video system which had already been discussed as a capital improvement item, including paving a service road leading to the stadium and adding overhead coverings to portions of the new entry.

The public may view the architect’s renderings, which will be on display at various district events and on the USD 394 Web site, www.usd394.com.

Improving drainage in front of the stadium is another option the board will consider, however, this is a separate issue from the ongoing drainage problem of the playing field, Chickadonz said. 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.

At the Dec. 9 meeting, Chickadonz reported the district has been assigned an arbitrator, with a scheduled arbitration date of March 26 and 27.

“This is later than we had hoped but still hopeful that it will allow us to schedule repairs (replacement) prior to the start of next year’s seasons,” his report stated.

The stadium improvements and turf repair are slated to be completed by the first football game of the 2014 season.