School Board approves bid for track at Singer
By Sarah Crawford
Beauregard Daily News
Singer High School will get a track for the first time after the Beauregard Parish School Board on Thursday, Feb. 13, approved a recommendation to award a bid for the job to Asphalt Associates Inc.
The board approved the motion 9-1 after hearing from several members of the public, all who urged the board to approve the $727,645 bid. Don Gray, District 5, voted no.
All children should have access to a track at their schools, said Shane Lynch of Fields.
“Every child in the parish should be awarded the same opportunity to be a track star,” Lynch said. “Everybody ought to be awarded the same chance.”
Donna Powell, of Singer, said that she graduated from Singer in 1985 with no track, and that now she has children who have gone on to graduate from Singer, still with no track.
“Show me that there’s going to be a track,” she said.
Gray said he thought the money might be better served elsewhere at Singer, noting that the bid was higher than expected.
“I know a track would be nice, I would like to see some kind of track, but not one costing close to $1 million, and that’s what it’s going to cost us with the change orders,” he said. “I think the money would be spent a whole lot better on the Ag department or something else at that school that would benefit way more kids.”
Board member Russell Havens, District 1, said that the parish voted to build a track at Singer.
“I’ve been on this board long enough to know that when we want something done at a particular school, it gets done,” Havens said. “I could read you the whole list on what we overspent at the other schools.”
Board President David Vidrine, District 3C, said he felt the board had committed itself to the track when it let out bids.
“I don’t really see a point in re-bidding unless you’re cutting back on specs or something,” he said. “We’re not going to be robbing Peter to pay Paul, from my understanding, we’re not going into any other budget or any other account.”
The cost incorporates some of the issues with soil conditions, along with a small set of bleachers, said Zack Shirley, director of Title I federal programs, building maintenance and construction.
There is an 18-month timeframe allotted to complete the track, he said.
“The 18 months is there to try to have a dry spell like we had just end in the last few weeks,” he said. “We’ve got a time frame, they’re committed to doing this just as quickly as they can get in there and stand up with their equipment and get it done, but they do have an 18-month window, and that is the only reason you have a bid that you do.”