ALTON - The Alton School District Board of Education approved a variety of capital projects in May and June that will lead to a busy summer in the District. Over $2 million in projects will commence later this month including the addition of three turf fields at the Alton High Athletic Complex, maintenance of the track and tennis courts and the construction of safety vestibules at four elementary schools.

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Byrne and Jones was awarded the contract to convert the Alton High soccer field to turf this summer. The company will also convert the softball and baseball infields to turf. Additionally, the track surrounding the soccer field will have its surface resprayed as a part of regular maintenance. The tennis courts will also be resurfaced. The Board elected to fund the planned projects through the existing Operations and Maintenance Fund.

Dr. Kristie Baumgartner, Superintendent, said the conversion to turf fields will be tremendously beneficial to Alton teams. “The addition of turf to our soccer complex and the softball and baseball infields will continue to allow our facilities to remain competitive with others around the conference and region. We had a significant number of games that had to be canceled this year or moved to another field outside of the District due to spring rains. Turf will allow us to reduce field maintenance and upkeep costs while also giving our student athletes more opportunities to play games right here at home regardless of weather occurrences earlier in the day or week that threaten the ability to play.”

In a continued commitment to safety, the Board also approved adding safety vestibules (secured entrances) to four elementary schools this summer, with a plan to complete vestibules at all schools. East Elementary, Eunice Smith Elementary, West Elementary and Lewis and Clark Elementary will soon see construction of the vestibules beginning in June with completion by August. The safety vestibules allow school office staff to serve visitors and guests without granting full access to the school. The construction of vestibules at schools is a part of significant enhancements to the District’s safety and security enhancements that have occurred over the past three years. Some of the additional measures already in place include the use of concealed weapons detection systems at every school, additional safety staff and new emergency alert apps and systems.

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