Free State and Lawrence high schools soon will be buying Adidas uniforms, some of their fans will be in line for new aluminum seating, and their boosters might be directed to adhere to some additional district oversight.
Such is the game plan that emerged Monday night, as members of the Lawrence school board huddled to address contracts, projects and policies associated with secondary athletics in the Lawrence school district.
Specifically, board members decided to:
• Endorse two contracts — one with Adidas, another with Francis Sporting Goods — to make Adidas the official uniform and apparel provider for the two high schools. The contracts, set to become effective Jan. 1, will give each school discounts on uniforms and other items, while all students, even nonathletes, at each school will be able to buy discounted Adidas merchandise at the Francis retail store in downtown Lawrence.
• Move forward with plans for installing new bleachers for baseball and soccer fields by March 1 at Lawrence High. Board members plan to buy “elevated aluminum” bleachers for the two fields, and to consider adding rock walls around their bases to improve their looks; district officials also plan to seek bids for such seating and walls at Free State’s softball and soccer fields. Installing “Versa Lock” seating — like the bleachers at the football field — will be considered for Free State’s baseball field, given the site’s existing slopes.
• Pursue consistent policies for overseeing booster contributions for athletics at the two schools. While Free State boosters run much of their money through the district’s books for purchasing and other expenses, Lawrence High’s boosters largely operate on their own and without informing the district. Board members emphasized that they don’t want to “control” such booster spending, but rather “account” for it so that they can better weigh questions about equity and other issues.