(Posted May 12, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Installation of synthetic turf at London High School’s Bowlus Field starts May 23 and will take six weeks to complete.
On May 10, the school board approved a contract with Maumee Bay Turf Center of Oregon, Ohio. The estimated cost is $630,000. To date, the district has raised $440,000 in contributions. Permanent improvement funds will be used to finance any expenses not covered by donations.
“The project is an effort to greatly increase the use of district facilities and to further establish our athletic facilities as some of the best in the area,” the district stated in a press release.
School leaders estimate the switch to an artificial playing surface will increase the use of Bowlus Field from 15 to 18 hours per week to 38 to 40 hours per week.
The middle school’s athletic program will benefit, as well. Dirt from Bowlus Field will be relocated to the unused playing fields at the middle school. Later this year, the fields will be leveled, seeded and fertilized. The middle school’s baseball, softball and soccer teams should be able to use the fields for practice and competition starting in the spring of 2017.
The turf project is slated be done in time for London’s Independence Day celebration and fireworks, scheduled for July 3 at the high school.
The school board also approved the hiring of a new head basketball coach at the high school. Zach Brown was chosen from among 30 applicants.
The selection committee praised Brown for his varied experiences as a player and coach and ability to foster relationships with players, parents and the community.
Brown played collegiately at Div. I Lipscomb University and Cedarville University. A native of Mason, Ohio, he was a four-year starter at Mason High School. He most recently served as the head junior varsity and assistant varsity basketball coach and men’s head golf coach at Cedarville. He holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration. He will serve the district as a substitute teacher and plans to move with his wife to the London area.
In other action, the board approved shifting boys’ and girls’ bowling from a club sport to a varsity sport starting with the 2016-17 school year.
Senior Class Gift
Megan Cox and Jacob Green, president and vice president, respectively, of London High School’s senior class, asked the board’s permission to proceed with a project to install a walkway, patio, bench and flower garden around the senior arch. The project would serve as the Class of 2016 gift to the school. The arch was gifted by a previous senior class. The idea is that students pass under the arch once as freshmen, then not again until they graduate. The walkway and patio would give students who abide by the tradition a way to enjoy and navigate around the arch, the class officers said.