|The Galesburg Board of Education met Monday night for their first regularly scheduled meeting of the new year.
Among the little new business the board was dealing with was approving the design for the athletic facilities at Galesburg High.
The design has been under discussion for quite some time, going through several committee steps before being sent to the board for final approval. Superintendent Bart Arthur explained how much work has gone into getting the design to the board for approval.
"I think that the work that all of these people have put into this displays that we are trying to move forward in our community," says Arthur. "It's a little frightening, but I think that if we do it, we want to do it so we can host events."
The Board of Education, amidst the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, has now introduced the element of safety to the Master Facilities project.
Board President Natalie Kessler says dealing with safety should come as a next step to getting the construction underway.
"Realistically what needs to happen for safety concerns is a matter of management," says Kessler. "Not necessarily expecting the building and a bullet proof frontage to solve the problem. It's a management issue that needs to be taken care of and people need to be trained and knowledgeable about how to deal with crises."
Several board members expressed disagreement with many of the decisions made during the committee meetings. Among which are the infrastructure of the high school and luxury items such as field turf.
Board Member Bob Lindstrom leveraged the Newtown incident to prove his point about priorities.
"What if an incident happens at Galesburg High School in the next six, nine, twelve months and we approve this tonight? Are you going to have buyers remorse then?" says Lindstrom. "What if it goes on national T.V. that we had a shooting at Galesburg High School and they say 'what did they do out there?' 'well the school is spending 15 million bucks putting a new athletic facility out there, but they didn't do anything for security.' "
According to Kessler, getting the design approved has taken a year and a half to go through the proper channels.
Board member Thomas Colclasure says that he was getting tired of defending his position on the Master Facilities issue each month.
"I think when you go to different schools and you go to their stadiums and to their other sports facilities I think you leave feeling differently about that place," says Colclasure.
The board approved the high school campus design measure 4-2 with one absent member.