By Joel Phelps
Citing safety concerns over a deteriorating football field, the Arkadelphia Board of Education on Tuesday opted to completely replace the astro turf at Badger Stadium.
Arkadelphia Public Schools will finance the $856,356 project, said Jimmy King, the school district’s director of support services. The district still has payments to make on the seven-year-old All Care Pharmacy Field, King told The Arkadelphian after Tuesday’s agenda planning meeting.
King said safety was the main reason for needing to replace the field, as the current turf “has deteriorated prematurely.” It should have had a lifespan of 10 years, but there are drainage issues and holes in the old turf. The project will require removing the artificial turf and base down to the gravel beneath. The new turf will include a Cushdrain pad, which is proprietary to the Texas-based Hellas Construction, according to King.
The Cushdrain pad will make for better shock absorption for students who use the field. The field is used not only for Badger football, but also for junior Badgers, soccer, Band, track and field, physical education classes and even for Pee Wee football, King noted.
Coach Forthman saying goodbye
Longtime physical education teacher of Peake Elementary School and school bus driver Michael Forthman is retiring at the end of this school year. Forthman has been a district employee for 29 years.
During its personnel portion of Tuesday’s meeting the school board met for more than an hour in executive session. Forthman’s retirement was announced following the executive session.