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New bleachers coming to Conley Center

IRONTON — Out with the old and in with the new.

Continuing the district’s plan to improve sports-related equipment and resources not covered by the facility levy, the Ironton Board of Education unanimously approved purchasing new bleachers for the Conley Center at their monthly meeting Tuesday night.

The $102,000 acquisition, which will come from the school system’s Capital Improvements Set Aside Account, will install new bleachers on both sides of the Conley Center’s lower level.

School officials said they anticipate completion of the project by the end of October or early November.

The Set Aside Account normally is used for capital improvement emergencies like leaky roofs, faulty boilers and damaged water lines; however Superintendent Dean Nance told the board that he was comfortable using monies from this account for the bleachers.

“Since we are in new facilities with warranties, I feel it is safe enough to spend the money at this time on the bleachers,” Nance said Tuesday.

The district previously said it would consider using monies raised from its facilities auctions and sales to pay for purchases and improvements to the Conley Center and Tanks Memorial Stadium.

However, at the same Tuesday meeting, the board unanimously approved placing the $62,500 it received for the sale of West Ironton Elementary towards its Bond Retirement account.

At the recommendation of Athletic Director Mark LaFon, the board decided on keeping with the Conley Center’s noteworthy design to have two separate sets of bleachers on each side of the facility while keeping the double doors unobstructed.

Board members could have chosen from three proposals the winning bidder – Westerville-based Farnham Equipment Company – introduced.

First was having each set of bleachers totally span and cover both walls and the double doors; the second was to have one wall totally covered and one wall split with access to one set of double doors or the proposal they selected.

The costs to span both walls would totally have been $111,000 while having bleachers cover one wall and have one split would have run $105,000.

Farnham was the company that installed the bleachers at the new Elementary and Middle schools and was selected from three officially, submitted bids.

The new bleachers will be able to be set and moved electronically and will contain weighted, leather end curtains to prevent access under them. Each will be ADA accessible, have plastic, molded seats and entry and exit aisles.

The $102,000 purchase does not include removal of the current bleachers, but school administrators said they are looking into volunteer efforts to handle that expense.