Softball turf, concrete seating and six tennis courts to be installed this summer
Watch for construction soon on the south side of Stadium Drive east of Cardinal Stadium.
By the end of August, Webb City R-7 School Board members expect to see players and fans at six new tennis courts and a revamped softball field.
Those are two of the five capital projects they discussed during a special meeting Thursday:
The estimated total cost is $3.4 million, which Superintendent Tony Rossetti said will be available in the district’s capital improvement fund.
When the board decided to upgrade the baseball field with turf, new dugouts, fences and backstop, it was with the idea that with a few changes softball would be played there, too, since baseball is played in the spring and softball in the fall.
Softball players, however, chose to play on their own field.
Now, according to Kevin Cooper, assistant superintendent of business operations, Coach Shauna Friend is in favor of installing turf on the softball infield because it will be easier to maintain and play more consistently. Without the turf, Cooper said the infield would still have to be reworked. The outfield’s condition is fine as it is.
Cooper estimated the turf, basic dugout construction and fencing will cost $356,000. The terrace seating completion of the dugouts will cost $100,000 to $130,000.
Not everything would have to be done this summer, but as board member David Collard said, “If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right, right out of the gate.”
With the planned improvements, Cooper noted “there won’t be any disparity between boys and girls sports.”
Rossetti said that with the newly approved improvements added to the baseball field, Cardinal Stadium and Cardinal Dome, Webb City “will have some of the finer places to play in southwest Missouri.”
Two previously approved projects are also underway. A new facility housing a range for archery and the JROTC rifle team is being built on the east side of the high school, and the swim center is being expanded for locker rooms. The original design has sparse restrooms for combined use by swimmers and the public.
The board approved a summary budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The district is starting the year with $8,500,000 in the general fund, which is a $2,800,000 increase over last year.
There’s also $1,375,000 more in the capital improvements fund than there was a year ago. That fund will begin with $1,600,000 on hand and will increase almost immediately to $3,100,000 when $1,500,000 from the Classroom Trust Fund is received. The district typically transfers that revenue from the general fund to the capital fund as soon as it’s received.
The budget summary anticipates a $2,622,449 deficit.
“That said, I don’t anticipate deficit spending,” Rossetti said.
The summary basically plugs in actual 20-21 revenues while Rossetti says he is aware of several revenue sources that are expected to increase.
For instance, local property values are believed to be increasing because this is a reassessment year, but he conservatively estimated local revenue will be the same. Rossetti also expects but doesn’t completely budget a “robust” increase in Proposition C property tax receipts.
Of greater impact will be a $5.9 million ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) Fund payment. Rossetti said he did not include it in the summary because of uncertainty about how the funds will be dispersed by the Missouri Legislature.
The tentative budget does include a 4.25% increase in salaries and $300,000 for 11 new staff members.
There’s more good news for employees – they won’t have to pay more for health insurance under the district’s self-funded plan.
In other action, the board: