Wheaton schools look to hit it out the park

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

District plans to replace outfield softball fence

The Wheaton school district has made a play for a new and improved fence for the softball fence.

Lance Massey, Wheaton school district superintendent, said the softball fence blew over back in June, after the summer ball program was finished using the fields.

“We have stood it back up and put some temporary posts in it for now,” Massey said. “Last school year, we were able to replace the sideline fencing for both the softball and baseball field.”

Massey said with the outfield fence now blown over, it makes sense for the district to replace it.

“Basically, we will have new fence around the whole softball field with the renovations from last year, and what we will do this year,” Massey said.

The fencing will cost approximately $1,750 for wire and accessories, and approximately $1,300 for the pipe and accessories.

According to Massey, an active parent of a student in the summer ball program has a welding business.

“He came to us and said, ‘We will pay for the labor side of the project, if you buy the material,’” Massey said. “So, our cost for the district will just be buying the materials.”

Massey said the district will vet the person who will do the labor, but that makes it so the district doesn’t have to bid labor out since the district isn’t paying for it.

“As far as the material and supplies,” Massey said. “We will shop that out and make sure we come up with the best price we can.”

Massey said he has been with Wheaton schools for 14 years, and the fences haven’t been replaced in that time.

“We have designed a fence that instead of being a common chainlink posts that are a light gauge galvanized metal,” Massey said. “We are using steel pipe, and the posts and top frame are going to be welded together.”

Massey said those are the areas that allowed the wind to blow the fence over before, and this new fencing should last 50 years against normal wear and tear.

“Truthfully, with the summer ball program helping us out and the district only paying for materials, we can get this done cheaper than if we had bid it out and paid for labor,” Massey said. “Now we are able to get it done with a product that will be far more durable and last longer.”

The funds for the material and supplies will come out of the general operations funds, and plans have the project completed in time for spring ball.

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