District 118 to study facility needs January 14 2015

DANVILLE — Members of the Danville District 118 school board will discuss facility needs and available funding Wednesday, including whether artificial field turf should be installed at Danville High School’s Whitesell Field. 

Superintendent Mark Denman said a study session has been called so board members can discuss “urgent and recommended needs” at various facilities in the district.

“There is a lot of work on the health, life, safety list,” he said. “There’s millions of dollars of work, and state funding is declining because of the repeal of the state income tax (increase).”


Some of the needed work in the district includes replacing the roof and heating and air conditioning at Meade Park Elementary and $120,000 of urgent work at Kenneth D. Bailey Academy that is part of a larger 10-year health, life, safety plan.

Board members also will discuss artificial turf options from the proposals the district has collected.

The artificial turf options range in cost from $725,000 to $1.1 million. The estimated cost to maintain an artificial turf covering is $9,500 a year compared with natural turf at $35,000 a year.

Urbana High School installed artificial turf on its playing field as part of a $4.3 million athletic complex project in 2011 and 2012. The Urbana school district passed a 1 percent sales tax to pay for the work.

Coach B.J. Luke has said that in addition to Urbana, two Springfield schools and several Metro East (suburban St. Louis) schools have artificial turf fields among downstate schools.

Luke told school board members last month artificial turf would allow the field to be used all day by physical education classes, marching band, the football team and soccer teams without sustaining the wear and tear that comes with natural turf.