BIC School Board OKs school property use for park entrance

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

Buffalo Island Central school board and representatives from the City of Monette discussed plans for additional ball fields during the regular meeting Monday, April 9, in Monette.

Monette Mayor Chub Qualls, and councilmen Tom Carroll and Byron Sparkman addressed the board concerning a workable agreement for planned improvements to the city park and school ball fields.

Mayor Qualls suggested BIC consider turning around the senior high boys baseball field so it would tie into the gated athletic facility already under construction, allowing total use of the new centrally located concession stand and bathrooms.

BIC had voted earlier to pursue relocation of the city road leading to the ballfield, across the senior high campus, in order to construct a new girls softball field. The new proposed access road would be located at the southern tip of BIC school property, allowing an entrance west to the existing fields. The change in location would allow the necessary space for the new girls field.

"It would be two years before the new road would be ready to use," Qualls said, "as trees will need to be removed from the proposed street area, filled in and allowed to settle, before it can be used as a road. We are willing to work with the school and do what is necessary to provide field space, and proper access to all fields."

Councilman Carroll explained how the third city field could be turned into a girls softball field and used by the school, which would save the school money and keep all four fields close together.

"Coach Hurst needs access to the girls field anytime during the season, and nothing would need to be scheduled there during that time," said BIC director Dale Wells. "Once Mark wanted to bring his girls back to practice at home, after completing an away game, and needed the field available. Will that work for ya'll?"

"We cannot justify building a field for just that reason," said councilman Carroll.

"Coach Rose and Coach Hurst want access to their fields," Wells said. "We have voted to build a field. But can we justify a field that is played on for just a month?"

"We can have an agreement they can have access, when needed," Mayor Qualls said.

"Tying up fields for all of their home and away games and for unplanned practice would be difficult if not impossible," Carroll said.

"We could not approve the changes in fields if we don't have total control of it," Superintendent George Edd Holland said.

"Our responsibility is to the school first and its needs," director Nathan Sanders said.

"I would like to put our field on the south end like we had agreed to do 11 months ago," Holland said.

"I don't see that we would gain that much by spending money to turn the boys baseball field around," Sanders said.

"If it is feasible let's do it, if not let's move on," Qualls said.

"We need a softball field now," Wells said. "I feel we would be letting them down, if we don't provide it now."

"School teams would have it first, if it is on the school grounds," said Holland.

"If you build it now, before the south road is ready, do you think you would have trouble with the traffic to the city fields coming across the school campus?" Qualls asked.

"We need an agreement that traffic will not be a problem for us," Carroll said.

Holland and the board agreed to people crossing the school property to get to the city fields until the new south road is ready.

"If it comes to the point that you do some work on the baseball field, then let us know," Qualls said. "You might consider a gate relocation at that time, and turning the field. We are all in this for the same purpose - the kids."

The city agreed to do away with the existing road to the city ball fields and access the park through the school parking lot, until the road to the south can be completed.

Holland shook hands with the city leaders as they left the meeting.

"I appreciate ya'll coming tonight," Holland said. "I'm glad we can agree to get busy on the ballfield.

In other business:

*Hiring of new personnel to staff the elementary summer school program on the East campus included Faith Rolland, Missi Miller, Kathryn Austin, Debbie King, Patty Qualls, Lisa Turner, Janie Ibanez and Shirley Cato. West campus personnel is Patricia McFarlin, Regina Welch, Terri Cobb, Terrie Selby, Lynda Taylor, Karen McClelland, Phyllis Moxley, and Kima Steward.

*Resignations were accepted from Gina Misner, junior high cheerleading sponsor, and Debbie Olive, junior and senior high Quiz Bowl sponsor.

*Hiring of Ragan Weatherford, high school resource, and Lyndsey Lingo, high school social studies, teachers.

* Transfer approval of Jeremy Hill, 4, from BIC to Manila.

*Bids for asphalt work were received from A-State Paving, for $57,198.00 and Field Construction Co., for $50,920. The board accepted the bid from Field Construction.

*Bids on a surveillance system for the junior high school in Leachville were considered, but no action taken.

*Pricing for exterior door hardware to comply with ADA requirements was discussed. Superintendent Holland was instructed to proceed with projects at his discretion.

*Technology upgrade bids for East and West elementaries partnership projects were reviewed. Superintendent Holland was directed to obtain a third bid and proceed with the project.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be May 14, in the junior high library, on the Leachville campus.

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