Needing new outfield, Turkey Valley School Board ditches contrac - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Needing new outfield, Turkey Valley School Board ditches contractors, does it themselves

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JACKSON JUNCTION (KWWL) -

Finding the funding for school projects can be tough at most districts, and especially at small districts.

So when the Turkey Valley School Board started getting bids to fix their uneven outfield, the numbers weren't looking great.

In fact, most bids came in right around $30,000.

"Well 30 thousand dollars is basically a new teacher, so it's a big deal to us," said Don Blazek, vice president of TV's school board.

But the work badly needed to get done.

"When you'd walk out there, you could see lines in the ground where it was just five, six inches higher, and you could see a little bit of a roll in the outfield. So we kinda needed to level that," said Dan Stepan, Turkey Valley's head baseball coach.

The uneven surface causing balls to take weird bounces, making tracking fly balls even tougher.

"We would joke around as a team that it might be a home-field advantage because our outfielders absolutely knew where the tile lines were, but I don't know that it ever came into effect where it was something we used," Stepan said.

But instead of paying that $30,000, the school board decided to do it themselves.

They enlisted the help of 25-30 people, who donated time, man power and equipment to the cause.

They decided to replace the outfield at a Monday night meeting, and had it done less than a week later.

"It says everything about the community. They care. Everyone in this school district cares about the school, and cares about what happens here and cares about the kids that go here. So we like to do it right, we like to have a good image, and when we need to get things done, sometimes you just have to grab the bull by the horns and do it," Blazek said.

In all, Blazek said they saved about $25,000 by doing it themselves. 

And they were also able to get it done quickly enough to ensure green grass this spring.

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