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Newell stadium auction postponed

September 25, 2012
Morning Journal News

NEW CUMBERLAND-The public auction of Newell Memorial Stadium, scheduled for Oct. 5, will be postponed to give the Hancock County school district more time to work out the legal details of the sale, the school board learned Monday.

Superintendent Suzan Smith told the board that the legal notice for the auction must appear in newspapers two weeks before the sale. "We simply don't have enough time," she said.

The board discussed the sale in executive session Monday night and has scheduled a special meeting to discuss the sale, again in executive session, for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1. The board's next regular meeting is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8.

At its Sept. 10 meeting, the board voted 3-2 against Smith's proposal to sell the Newell facility at public auction. Board members cited the

proposed auction rule that the winning bidder pay 10 percent of the purchase price up front and the balance by Oct. 12.

Board members said requiring a lump-sum payment unnecessarily narrowed the field of potential buyers. Smith said at the Sept. 10 meeting that she would come back to the board with a new recommendation soon.

The stadium, declared surplus property by the board in June, is no longer needed by the school district because of the new Oak Glen Multi-Sports Complex adjacent to the high school.

Also Monday, the board approved spending up to $120,782 to make repairs to the Oak Glen High School track before it is resurfaced.

Smith said a portion of the track in front of the visitors' bleachers has become soft over time because of poor drainage. Even though track repairs were part of the $37 million bond call, more repairs than anticipated are necessary, she said.

The affected part of the track needs new aggregate, to facilitate better drainage, and new asphalt. Once that work is done, a new rubber coating will be applied to the surface.

Smith said, with the board's approval, Cattrell Companies Inc., of Toronto, Ohio, can start the work on Wednesday. "If we don't get this done soon, the asphalt companies will close (for the season) and we will not have the track ready in time for spring sports," she said.

The school board wants the work to be done in the next few weeks because of a time span-Sept. 28-Oct.12-when there are no home football games.

In other business, the board approved spending $27,890 on new firewall technology for the school district's computers. The contractor came in with the lowest bid and will be hired to install the Cymphonix firewall.

The firewall inspects all Web traffic for Hancock County Schools, categorizes dangerous Web sites and blocks them, blocks Web-based malicious software (malware) threats and performs other tasks, said technology coordinator Jennifer DiGiacinto.

"It is essential for us to protect Hancock County students while they are accessing the online world for educational purposes at school," DiGiacinto said. "The Cymphonix firewall goes above and beyond all other firewalls. ..."



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