Trustees ok stadium timetable

By Richard Zowie

Construction on the high school stadium will commence at month’s end and move graduation ceremonies.

Fredericksburg Independent School District’s board of trustees approved the stadium construction project and agreed to begin formal discussions on another during its Monday, April 14 regular meeting at the administration building.

Trustees also moved the location for the Class of 2014 graduation ceremonies and heard an update on the band program from John Rauschuber.

Toward the end of the meeting, officials set a special meeting for noon, May 1 to approve bids for the agriculture facility to be built at the eastern corner of Hollmig and Friendship Lanes, and for the Fredericksburg Middle School heating, ventilation and air conditioning project.

FHS stadium project

Football fans visiting Fredericksburg High School Stadium in the fall will notice a different look, as trustees unanimously approved a $1,345,565 plan to install artificial grass at the stadium and add an extra track lane (for eight total).

AstroTurf and Mid-America Golf and Landscape will work on the project.

Superintendent Eric Wright said trustees received five proposals.

“We tried as much as possible to get apples-to-apples comparisons,” Wright said. “But the difficulty in that is, it’s like sampling carpets to put in your home. There are different weights and grades in carpets. There are so many varieties.”

The superintendent added that he wanted to go with what FHS athletic director and head football coach Lance Moffett felt would be the right choice.

“It all boiled down to design,” Wright said. “We really liked the design created by AstroTurf.”

Mid-America’s plan includes a 10-year warranty and a surface upgrade for the same price.

As for the track, Jeff Bresee, a consultant for Austin-based Pfluger Architects, said the new lane would be on the inside of the track.

The project also would give the track a two-layer surface designed to create a textured, non-slip running surface.

Scraping of the existing grass surface at the stadium is to begin around April 28-29.

Adams Street project

Trustees also voted unanimously to begin formal discussions with the City of Fredericksburg regarding the proposed Adams Street Project at Fredericksburg Primary School.

This joint venture would not exceed $50,000 and would result in parking improvements and a new sidewalk.

Currently, parking spaces near the primary school on Adams are parallel. This plan would change them to angular, along with widening the street and building a sidewalk to eliminate parents and students having to walk on dirt to get to the school.

Wright estimated it would double the amount of available parking spaces.

“We also thought it would be safer for parents and kids exiting vehicles, so they would not have to exit on the street,” Wright said.

Mark Cornett, FISD board secretary, said he has met with the City of Fredericksburg staff and said the city would be interested in taking care of the street widening and striping if FISD handled the sidewalk and curb.

The project would run about 850 feet and would require a bit of public access easement.

“There are more details to work out,” Wright said, adding that the district will now look at the project in more detail.

The city’s involvement would require approval from the Fredericksburg City Council.

FISD Board President Lorrie Hess added, “A lot of future primary school parents will be happy about this.”

New graduation location  

With the FHS Stadium renovation project, the trustees announced that the FHS graduation would be moved to the Gillespie County Fair Grounds.

The ceremony will still be at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 6.

If it rains, the graduation will be moved to the FHS auditorium.

“Some parents have already sent out invitations that say the ceremony will be at the football stadium,” said FHS principal Ralf Halderman. “We may try to get inserts put into invitations to notify the change of venue.”

Wright added that FISD would need to advertise this change of venue.

Halderman described the decision as one resulting from exploring every avenue and trying to see if a “nice ceremony” would be feasible at the football stadium while construction work would be underway.

“When we looked at all the options, we felt the venue at the fair grounds would be better overall,” Halderman said, adding that at the stadium, there would be tractors, machines and piles of dirt. “I know there’s sentimental value (at the stadium), but we’ll make this as nice as possible for the kids.”

Band update

John Rauschuber, FISD director of bands, updated trustees on band competitions and what’s ahead for concerts.

This marching season, Rauschuber reported, was the 52nd consecutive first-division rating that the FHS marching band received at UIL.

“Only a few bands, maybe six, have a longer streak than we do,” he said.

Rauschuber also told trustees that of the 86 FMS band students who auditioned for regionals, 40 were chosen. This broke last year’s record of 33 students. At the high school, 84 students auditioned for regionals and 46 were chosen.

Out of those 46 FHS students, 14 placed high enough to advance to area in Corpus Christi.

And, of those 14, two individuals made the 3A All-State Band: Brandon Stehling at third chair percussion (his second year in All-State) and Matt Pehl at third chair trombone (his third year).

“The selection process changed this year and they cut in half the number of all-state positions at 3A, so it was quite a challenge for our students to make it,” Rauschuber said.

Rauschuber added that the high school band earned an accolade that will result in a noon, Feb. 19, 2015 performance at the State Capitol Rotunda in Austin.

The band has been selected out of dozens of high school bands to be the official 2015 Spirit of Star Day school band. They will perform at the 169th anniversary of Texas’ statehood.

“We’re looking forward to that,” Rauschuber said. “We will try to incorporate our choir to show off our fine arts program. This is a once-in-a-lifetime performance for the kids.”

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