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  • Fairbury News staff

Board talks JH sports

Tuesday afternoon's regular PC Board of Education meeting in the high school library.

The Prairie Central Board of Education has approved participation in junior high track for fifth and sixth grade students for the current 2022 season which prompted a much wider discussion on younger athletes participating at higher levels.

This is due to participation numbers decreasing for seventh and eighth graders. A minimum threshold of boys and girls must be met in order for teams to participate with the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA). Junior high girls basketball is in a similar position.

Teachers have figured out how to do eligibility for the younger wrestlers and other sports programs would likely be similar.

“I think these same kind of parameters would work for boys and girls basketball,” said Prairie Central Superintendent Paula Crane during Tuesday’s regular March board meeting in Fairbury.

“My biggest concern in all of this is playing time,” noted board president Mark Slagel,

“It may be worth having a conversation with the athletic director,” said board secretary John Wilken.

“I think it would be hard to say yes to some and no to others,” stated board member Lori Schahrer.

Most board members seemed to agree that all junior high sports should allow the option for younger athletes to participate on teams. A proposal will be rewritten and likely brought back to the board next month for consideration.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the board authorized a bid from Union Roofing in Chenoa for $389,000 to replace the high school gym roof. Other bids came in much higher. Crane is glad a local company will do the work.

A fuel bid was approved from Evergreen FS for 20,000 gallons of five-percent biodiesel at $3.678 per gallon. The question was raised if the board should wait to bid until next month in case oil goes down, to lock something up later.

“I think it could get uglier but it could get better,” Wilken observed.

Slagel reminded everyone the current turmoil in the world is something that factors into the high prices. He said if fuel gets cheaper, the school district can always get it off the truck.

“There is way more upside risk than downside risk,” said board vice-president Tim McGreal.

During her superintendent report, Crane gave updates on maintenance projects. Work is ongoing on a window bid which will be approved along with an additional $80,000 to $90,000 for asbestos removal. Specifications are still being worked out for the new football field lighting.

“We have to replace that electrical box out there,” Crane explained.

If extra work is done ahead of time, less work would be involved with light installation.

Board members also approved the consent agenda, including the activity fund report, financial summary, sales tax report and treasurer’s report as presented. Minutes were authorized from the Jan. 24 special meeting and Feb. 22 regular meeting.

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