To The Herald-Whig:
Jay Lawler recently offered corrections to what he called "erroneous statements" I made about the artificial surface at Flinn Stadium.
Point number one: The contractor will expect to be paid when the new field is in place by September. I doubt that the booster clubs and Quincy Public School Foundation will have raised $300,000 in that short period of time. Therefore the full $772,460 (minus $75,000 from Quincy University) will have to be paid by the QPSF with the hope that they will get reimbursed $321,660 by the donations promised. If these promises fall short of their target, the taxpayer will have to make up the difference. The $377,800 in "life safety" bonds will have to be paid for by the school district taxpayers.
Point number two: I am sorry that I did not make it totally clear that in referring to using some of the money for the Baldwin Library and re-hiring teachers I was referring to the donated money and not the life-safety monies.
Point number three: I seriously doubt that the wires under the field qualify as a life-safety issue. Experts have examined the field and have said that there is no life-safety issue in the underground wiring.
Point number four: I noticed that Mr. Lawler does not dispute my math concerning the annual additional cost of $17,300 over the cost of the present grass field.
Lastly, I am sure that Dr. Crickard (president of QPSF) will agree that the use of an artificial turf has been proven to be harder on the leg joints and will increase the number of athletic leg injuries suffered by the football and soccer players. In reality, the new surface could become a life-safety issue and spawn a new life-safety bond to replace it.
I do not think that the new surface is a win-win situation for the community. The new field will cost more, has a life span of only 12 years and will likely cause more sport injuries. To spend this amount of money on this project when we are cutting the rest of the school's budgets tells the taxpayers that sports appear to have a higher priority than education.