There’s high school football drama on and off the field in Lorain County.
The Wellington Exempted Village Schools’ Board of Education held an emergency meeting on Friday over a lack of bleachers at the high school. It comes just three days after a member of the board resigned amid a state ethics investigation.
The board voted to spend $34,000 on temporary bleachers to be put in place before the Wellington Dukes’ first home game on September 9. The purchase comes nearly a year after the 60-year-old wooden bleachers were condemned. Someone’s foot pushed right through one of the wooden boards.
There was an agreement to purchase used bleachers from North Olmsted, but that plan fell through a few weeks ago when it was discovered removing the lead paint would cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Board member Ayers Ratliff pointed the finger at now-fired business manager Tim Wulfhoop.
“The business manager would be in charge of finding out that you had lead paint on the structure,” Ratliff said.
Wulfhoop is married to former school board member Lois Wulfhoop, who resigned on Tuesday amid a state ethics investigation. Earlier this year, Ratliff said Tim Wulfhoop was fired after the state learned he didn’t have a license to do the job, but neither have been accused of wrongdoing.
"She had an interest in a contract,” Ratliff said. "He wasn’t even licensed!”
Newsnet5.com attempted to reach the Wulfhoops by phone on Friday, but was unsuccessful.
In the meantime, the football field is in such bad shape, Friday night’s scrimmage had to be moved to a rival team’s field. Barbed wire surrounded the open space where those old bleachers once stood.
“I think it’s very unfortunate and I really do hope they can get something figured out and fast,” Wellington resident Madalyne Kingan said. "I know it’s very sad for friends and family who want to come and watch them play football and right now they don’t really have that opportunity.”
The board did not take bids for the temporary bleachers, citing the emergency situation. The board is expected to open a formal bidding process for permanent bleachers, which they hope to have installed by the beginning of the 2017 school year.
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