The Dallastown Area school board voted unanimously Thursday to extend the existing bids on the proposed turf field.
The board voted in November to award the bid for the project to A-turf, but that award is contingent upon the Dallastown Area Educational Foundation's efforts to raise $500,000 before an official vote to start the project with the company.
The foundation has raised $481,253 so far, foundation chairman Kevin Marquet told the board during a presentation Thursday.
The foundation is working on a tight timeline to raise the remaining $20,000. The bid for the turf and site work required will expire Feb. 8.
But solicitor Jeffrey Rehmeyer said the language of the bid contract allows the district to extend the bid dates for grant offerings, such as funding from the foundation. Rehmeyer said preliminary conversations with A-turf have suggested the vendor would also be willing to extend the award date past Feb. 8.
The board passed a motion to allow Rehmeyer to get written confirmation between the district and A-turf to extend the bid award date for as long as the vendor will allow.
Board member Michael Noll said he believes that could be as late as May 1, but the earlier the foundation can raise the $500,000 required, the better.
Board member Bill Lytle said he supports the motion because it shows the district's confidence in the foundation to raise the remaining funds.
Specifics: The total estimate for the project is $814,174, which is the bid A-turf supplied for the field and the site work required.
Noll said the board's vote in August 2012 to start the turf project required the foundation to raise the money as a launching point.
"We voted that it was the trigger point, not the end point," Noll said. "It's still the trigger point."
The foundation will be raising the full funds necessary for the project, without using district funds.
Marquet said naming the vendor in November has allowed the foundation to put together packets for larger donors, and foundation members plan to meet more potential donors in January in hopes of boosting fund-raising efforts.
Timeline: Noll said A-turf has requested six weeks of advance notice before starting the project, which will tentatively begin after graduation this year. Noll said securing the bid with the vendor earlier in the spring will ensure Dallastown is at the top of the vendor's list for the summer, so that students can use the field in time for preseason practices in August.
"The readiness is dependent upon the shovel-in-the-ground date," he said.
If the board can officially award the bid before May 1 so that crews can begin the project right after graduation as planned, Noll said, the project should be completed before teams need to start using it.
Turf quality: At the board meeting in November, Noll said the buildings and grounds committee recommends a 12-year warranty turf field, with a concussion pad underneath as an added safety feature. The committee also looked at eight-year warranty fields, but every contractor removed the anti-concussion pad for those bids, a feature Noll said was important to keep. Four other companies submitted bids for the field with a 12-year warranty, but A-turf was the lowest.
The 7-1 vote in November allows A-turf's bid to be fully live when the foundation reaches the $500,000 mark.
Board member Don Jasmann, who left his seat after November, voted against the motion, saying he originally thought the foundation should be required to raise more than $500,000 before starting the project, and still believed the trigger point should be higher.
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