Kyle Tucker, 16, wants to place a flagpole outside his high school in Avondale, Ariz., as part of his path to becoming an Eagle Scout. However, the project has stalled after the association in charge of the complex where his school is requested additional insurance to allow the flagpole. / Charlie Leight, The Arizona Republic
PHOENIX - Kyle Tucker just wants to plant a flagpole at his high school on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. Instead, he's getting a lesson in bureaucracy.
Tucker, 16, belongs to Litchfield Park's Boy Scout Troop 90. He said the idea for the flagpole at his Avondale charter high school, the Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center, came from the school's receptionist.
He is doing the project as one of the requirements to advance to Eagle Scout.
The Avondale teen obtained the necessary city permits. He raised $400 in cash donations. The American Legion Post 61 in Avondale donated the flag. Tempe-based Adolfson & Peterson Construction and its subcontractors agreed to supply the pole, concrete and labor.
Before work could begin, Tucker needed approval from the Coronado Professional Condominium Association, which sets rules for the commercial complex on where the school and four businesses are located.
But the association requested additional insurance, which meant the school must purchase an additional $650,000 rider to its $4 million insurance policy, covering the association, the management company and four other building owners in the complex, said William Conley, the school's assistant superintendent of administrative service.
"It's kind of annoying, because I was hoping to have it (the project) done soon, and get it out of the way if I could. It's sort of un-American," Tucker said.
Conley said the school's insurance company advised that the current coverage is adequate so he did not ask how much the additional rider would cost.
"We told them, 'No, we're not going to do that,' so they wanted to stand their ground and said no," Conley said. "We just didn't understand what the issue is that they wouldn't let this kid have his pole."
The condominium association did not return phone calls Tuesday.
The association's demand puzzles school officials. The school owns four of the eight buildings in the complex. Also, the 30-foot pole would be mounted in a concrete base next to the east fence on school grounds abutting the parking lot, away from other buildings.
Avondale Vice Mayor Frank Scott donated $200 to the project, and he helped guide Tucker through the city planning department. He said he was impressed with Tucker's maturity and determination.
"I find this totally amazing," Scott said. "How can you be against a flagpole?"
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