The Manchester Local School District School Board met with three architectural companies in a public meeting July 29 as one of the first steps in re-configuring the school’s athletic facilities.
The board ranked the three companies and unanimously voted McCarty Associates out of Hillsboro as the top company and will bring them back for their next board meeting.
McCarty Associates has designed and completed projects in a number of school districts, specifically with athletic facilities for the school districts of Goshen, Fairfield, Washington Court House, Sycamore, Union Scioto, the Ross County YMCA, and more.
“I like the availability and the local, small town experience that they brought to the table,” MLSD School Board Member Rick Foster said. “They’ve done a lot of exactly what we’re looking for and they have in-house surveying and engineers.”
The board said at the moment all they’re looking for is a master plan to best utilize the area the district has and that everything aside from the football field could be moved.
“We want to develop a master plan for the optimum efficient use of the athletic fields,” MLSD Board President Terry Himes said. “Basically except moving the football field and track, everything else is in play.”
While the board said there have been rumors that the football field is going to get artifical turf, part of this master plan the board plans to create with McCarty Associates will include whether or not that’s a smart move financially for the district.
The board also discussed limiting the number of entrances fans will be able to enter for football games so as to maximize the revenue from football gate entry fees as the current number of entrances have allowed some fans to get into games without paying.
The master plan would not only potentially move around MLSD’s athletic facilities, more parking could be in the works around the facilities themselves.
“[Parking has] been one of our issues that we’ve now realized didn’t fit into the gameplan when we were originally talking about the MEAC,” MLSD Board Member Dave McFarland said. “We’re woefully underparked, especially if you have two softball games going on, a baseball game and then you’ve got people at the MEAC. You’ve got no parking.”
The next regularly scheduled MLSD school board meeting is on Aug. 12.
Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391, firstname.lastname@example.org or @WUDefender on Twitter.