The School Board on Thursday unanimously approved an emergency request from Superintendent Juli Di Chiro to begin repairing Ashland High School's arson-damaged stadium as early as Monday.

The School Board on Thursday unanimously approved an emergency request from Superintendent Juli Di Chiro to begin repairing Ashland High School's arson-damaged stadium as early as Monday.

The board granted an emergency exemption to the competitive bid process for the project, speeding up the rebuilding by about two months.

"We approved the emergency measure so we can get it started and get it done, hopefully before we have kids back," Board Chairwoman Carol Davis said Friday.

District officials hope the work will be completed in time for the football team's first home game in early September.

The district's insurance company will oversee the repairs to the stadium, damaged in an arson fire on June 30. Police are asking for help identifying suspects in the case.

The fire caused $400,000 in damages, but the district will pay only a $50,000 deductible and the insurance company will cover the rest of the bill to rebuild the stadium, originally built in the 1920s.

The fire damaged about a third of the stadium, burning bleachers and leaving smoke and water damage.

The district's insurance company, Property and Casualty Coverage for Education, through the Oregon School Boards Association, will contract with a company that specializes in fire restoration to complete the repairs.

Although the emergency declaration means that local contractors won't get a chance to bid on the project, the insurance company may contract with local painters or irrigation workers, Davis said.

Board members went to survey the damage during their meeting Thursday. Board member Eva Skuratowicz was absent.

Davis, an architect, said she was saddened by the extent of the damage, but believes the district is getting a good deal on the repairs.

"I have a pretty good idea in my head of what something like this would cost and I think we're getting a very fair price for the repairs," she said. "I think we're also very lucky the fire sprinkler system worked."

Contact reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.