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Edison athletic complex project progressing

MOVING ALONG — Plans are progressing for unified sports facilities at Edison High School as school board members received an update at the regular monthly session on Tuesday. Superintendent Bill Beattie said work was underway to develop softball and baseball fields and add lighting while the prefabricated sheet metal structure for the new fieldhouse would arrive in April. The ballfields should be finished this summer with the fieldhouse to be ready in the fall. Meanwhile, the new track will host its first home meet on March 30 after COVID-19 preempted its opening last spring. -- Contributed

RICHMOND — Plans to unify sporting activities at Edison High School are progressing, and officials received the latest update on the project.

Superintendent Bill Beattie informed school board members during the Tuesday session that work was continuing on the new facilities, which will boast a fieldhouse and softball and baseball fields in addition to the football field that is already in existence. Leaders also are excited to utilize the new track that was completed in 2019 but remained unused because of the coronavirus.

“The baseball and softball fields currently are being excavated,” Beattie said. “We’re nearing the stage where they are going to put the first layer of stone on the field and we should start seeing the installation of the bases for the lights as well in the coming weeks.”

He continued that the concession stand building and restrooms were advancing and construction crews have begun installing the roof trusses. Meanwhile, the new fieldhouse should be going up next month after a slight delay.

“We should start seeing more activity since the prefabricated sheet metal for the building is due to arrive on April 12,” Beattie added.

He noted that the track will see its first activity at the end of the month after the pandemic put plans on hiatus.

“We’re excited to have the first home track meet on March 30. We’re looking forward to having our first event since this project started.”

Plans are to unify school sports at the Richmond campus since the current baseball and softball fields are located at Jefferson State Lake near Richmond, and athletes have held track practice and meets and junior high basketball practice at Stanton Elementary in Hammondsville. Officials said centralizing the activities would improve safety for students and save time for parents who must travel through the area to attend events. They are thrilled to see plans progress and said the ballfields should be completed this summer with the fieldhouse to be finished in the fall.

“You are already starting to see how everything is coming together,” Beattie commented.

Board Vice President Ron Smyth said the district has already spent $7 million on improving the school buildings with modifications at EHS and both John Gregg and Stanton Elementary Schools, and now the focus was going on athletics.

“I’ve been involved at Edison since Edison was formed,” said Smyth. “This is the biggest positive physical thing taking place. The prefabricated building is expected to arrive in the middle of April and (the contractors) think once that comes in they catch up.”

“I’m really excited,” said board President Aaron Richardson. “People see a lot of dirt being pushed, but by the time school’s back in it will look a lot different.”

In other matters, the board:

¯ Heard an update on getting elementary school kids involved in youth sports programs from football and cheerleading to basketball and golf;

¯ Approved additions to the substitute teachers’ list including Louis Balk, Danah Beaver and Jake Swearingen;

¯ Approved additions to the non-certified sub list including Barbara McElroy as aide/cook/secretary/NBC/custodian and Lisa Mazik, aide;

¯ Approved supplemental contracts for Darlene Mason, mentor; Tony Kovalesky, Indian League; Chris Dopp, varsity boys’ soccer; Luke Hoobler, volunteer track; Jeremy Matics, varsity boys’ basketball; and George Ash, volunteer baseball;

¯ Accepted the resignation of district Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck for retirement purposes;

¯ Approved Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta as the authorized representative for federal and state programs for the 2021-22 school year;

¯ Accepted the donation of three $1,000 scholarships from the Charles and Thelma Pugliese Charitable Foundation;

¯ Set the next regular board meeting for 6 p.m. April 15 at John Gregg Elementary.

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