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Davis Field grandstands being torn down in May

Destruction of the Davis Field grandstands at Elma High School will commence soon after the Eagle boys play their final home soccer game this season versus rival Montesano on May 8.

The destruction project will go out to bid in the next few weeks, the Elma School Board was told at its March 26 regular meeting.

“We’re really pushing it,” said Ryan Moore of Vector Engineering, who is serving as a consultant to the district. “We need some direction as to what parts need to be salvaged,” he said, so prospective bidding companies can include salvage efforts in their proposals.”

There was talk among the school board members that some bleacher boards and other parts could be salvaged for sale as souvenirs of Davis Field in fundraisers that could benefit the Associated Student Body.

Board member Julie Jackson suggested, “It wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep a fair amount” of the salvage for other projects.

But Moore pointed out that since this is a prevailing-wage project, cost of salvaging large amounts could be prohibitive as the work must been done by the contractor and the cheapest laborers will be costing the district “$52 per hour for ground work” and salvage work in the elevated portions of the grandstand would cost much more. And since the contract allows the winning bidder to sell off the salvage — offsetting some costs — keeping too much could boost the eventual price tag.

“The cost of labor is what really drives the budget on this project,” Moore said.

“So it’s going to cost much more to keep it,” replied Jackson. “Oh, then I don’t care. They can keep it.”

With that direction from the school board, Moore said the panel will likely be able to examine the bids at its first meeting in April.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent Howard King sought the board’s approval so that the district could apply for a technology grant from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation that will hopefully be used to outfit many — if not all — of the Elma Elementary School students with computer tablets in the years to come.

King said the Community Foundation has about $130,000 in grant money to award and he feels the Elma District has “a pretty good chance” at a good chunk of it.

King said the best-case scenario would be for the district to get $84,000 of the money, so it could provide each student with a tablet.

“The grant is aimed at narrowing the achievement gap,” King told the school board. “Our plan is to focus on the elementary school and focus on tablets for the entire school.”

Short of that, King said, any Community Foundation grant money would be used to buy tablets the students could share.

“If we don’t get that full amount,” King said, “We’re looking at the idea of tablets being rotated from classroom to classroom.”

The school board unanimously approved the grant proposal.

Finally, due to conflicting schedules of board members, it was decided to move the date of the board’s next meeting from it’s original date of Wednesday, April 16, to a day earlier, Tuesday, April 15, at 6 p.m.