Clarinda High School

(Clarinda) -- Clarinda school officials are moving forward with an upgrade to the high school's football field.

Meeting in special session Thursday afternoon, the Clarinda School Board set a public hearing for June 1st at 4 p.m. for the plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated cost of the high school's athletic facility infrastructure project. Funding from the district's Secure an Advanced Vision for Education--or SAVE revenues will be used for the project. Clarinda School Superintendent Chris Bergman tells KMA News the project solely consists of replacing the football field's existing turf with a sod surface.

"It's important to remember that this is, in particular, to the football field surface, itself," said Bergman. "It doesn't include any kind of conversations right now that we're having on handicapped accessibility, bleachers--anything like that. If the public is looking at it, it is just that field, itself."

Board members chose the option of a sod field over artificial turf back in March. Bergman says the current timeline calls for the field to be replaced before Clarinda High School's first home football game this fall.

In other athletics-related business, the board reviewed Governor Kim Reynolds' most recent public health measure, allowing high school baseball and softball practices to begin June 1st, and games to begin June 15th. Bergman says practices, alone, must follow strict guidelines.

"There's a lot of things like no dugouts may be used," she said. "Players would be lined up against a fence about six feet apart. Parents must remain in their cars, or drop off and pick up players after practice. The coaches are responsible for ensuring social distancing between players as much as possible--even while playing catch. There's no congregating of players while they're batting. As you see, between that and sanitizing shirts and equipment before and after practice, there's a lot of things to consider."

Players, however, would be allowed to use dugouts when competition begins June 15th. Participating in a ZOOM meeting on the governor's guidelines earlier this week, Bergman says situations regarding the continuing coronavirus pandemic are in flux.

"The phrase that kept happening on our ZOOM is, 'this is a moment in time,'" said Bergman. "We all know that the situation is changing, due to the situation, and being responsive, because we want everyone safe. So, there's different guidelines.

"When the governor announced her guidelines, this is permissible--it's not 'it has to happen.' So, it's important to remember that, and schools need to follow these guidelines, and schools need to follow more of their own, if they so choose."

Audio from Thursday's special meeting is available at the district's website.