Millsap ISD board of trustees approved covering the batting cages and adding storage space using Martco Manufacturing during their meeting on Monday evening.
Trustees had previously approved covering the batting cages with 3L Design in Weatherford for a cost not to exceed $100,000, but 3L Design backed out of the project because of lack of capacity for the job, Superintendent Deann Lee said. Working with a school district on a project like this comes with certain requirements that are not necessary for working with non-governmental entities.
The board asked for the project to be done for $155,000 by Martco Manufacturing, and it is likely that the actual cost of the project will come in lower than that, Lee said. This includes the coverings, storage space, windscreens and the chance to make the batting cage area more flexible for activities other than batting, though it is unclear what the flexible space may have.
“We have one regulation gym at each campus, so if you have inclement weather, then the athletes are kind of limited in what they can do,” Lee said. “Let’s say you have softball season, baseball season and track, and then it rains. Then, everybody’s vying for space, so if we can give options, it would be helpful.”
The goal is for the coverings to be done by the start of baseball and softball seasons, though there is no definite finish date, Athletic Director Jake Johnson said. The coverings on the batting cages, which are located in between the baseball and softball fields, would give athletes the ability to train despite the weather.
“In the spring you have so many sports — baseball, softball, track, tennis, I mean there’s a list of them, and we only have so much gym space,” Johnson said. “You really can’t get into a gym and hit baseballs and softballs, so this just allows them the opportunity to train every day regardless of weather, which that’s one of our goals here is to get a little bit better every day.”
The board also approved the district’s audit during the meeting, which came back with a clean or unmodified opinion. MISD is putting $1.2 million into fund balance, which is in part because of expenses delayed from the previous fiscal year.
“We were hoping to get the batting cage work done before the end of the fiscal year, but that was delayed and, therefore, put in to fund balance,” Lee said. “A bus wasn’t delivered before the end of the fiscal year, so that had to be added to fund balance, as well. We received an additional $260,000 in a SHARS (Medicaid) ‘catch up’ payment from a prior year. And, accrued revenues were higher than expected due to the number of student days in August being pulled at HB 3 rates and not previous finance system rates.”
The next MISD school board meeting is on Dec. 16.