Benefits of softball complex outweigh potential costs, school board approves hearing

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By: John Shi <jshi@hilite.org>

The school board has voted to approve the hearing of a new softball complex, which will cost around $2.5 million, according to Assistant Superintendent Roger McMichael.

However, some such as Assistant Superintendent Jeff Swensson said they have some reservations at the prospect of spending even more money in light of the current financial situation as well as a tightening state budget.

Yet, McMichael said that no debt would be incurred. “Funds will come from refinanced bonds and other funds on hand, and $500,000 will be from the 2009 capital project fund.”

He added that there are Title 9 implications to not having a suitable softball complex for girls. “Softball is not equal to baseball,” he said. “There is a disparity between women’s sports and men’s sports.” Thus, the continued absence of a comparable softball facility could open up the school district to suits based on the argument that equal opportunity as outlined under Title 9 has been violated, McMichael said.

School board member Gregory Phillips also expressed concern over noise level, but McMichael said that the complex’s proximity close to a retirement center would actually be a positive.

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