DALLAS TWP. — The Dallas School Board on Monday night approved the financing of a $1.5 million project that will provide the district with a multipurpose field for its football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey teams.
Board member Fred Parry was the lone dissenting vote.
Several board members voiced support for the project, which they believed would increase the quality of students’ educational experience.
Superintendent Frank Gallicki said that although the board was approving the project, it has historically invited “all stakeholders” to provide input in sizable expenditures.
“We invite everyone to participate and offer their opinion: parents, students, residents, and area business people,” said Gallicki. “The multipurpose field will benefit both the school and the community,” he said.
Board member Bruce Goeringer, in offering his nod on the project, said he believed he was casting his vote on behalf of area residents. He said any increased burden on taxpayers would not go beyond the mandated state index that limits tax increases.
Kylie Fisher, district field hockey coach and teacher, told the board the project would allow district teams to develop further. She said she looked forward to camps and clinics that would prepare younger students for participation in athletic programs.
But parent Lee Eckert and several other members of the audience told the board that while they did support new athletic fields, they believed the board had failed to fully support the district’s softball team, which would not directly benefit from the project.
“Our softball fields are in poor shape and present a safety hazard to our players,” he said. “Teams from other schools laugh at us. Our players would greatly benefit from a synthetic surface.”
Board President Larry Schuler assured attendees of the district’s commitment to improvement of all areas of academics and athletics, including the softball program.
In another matter, the board also unanimously approved four resolutions directed at the state Legislature.
The resolutions encouraged the state to permit reduction in professional staff for economic reasons, shift the economic burden for several programs from the district to the state or federal government, reduce the local school districts’ burden to fund charter school expenses and act on pension reform.
Board member Jeff Thomas said some shifts in financial responsibility from the district to the state would make it possible more effectively serve students in local districts.
In another matter, Catherine Wega lauded the district’s forensics program for successfully qualifying for national competition in Chicago.
The next meeting of the School Board will be on May 12 at 7 p.m.