South Pike school board members learned the district may need to spend a lot more than they anticipated to build a softball field for the high school team, and address a number of infrastructure problems throughout the district.
Athletic Director Hilton Harrell told the board Thursday that the softball team will play on the district’s baseball field this year with a portable fence installed in the outfield to match the dimensions of a standard softball field.
The building of a softball field at the site of the former Eva Gordon football field, he said, could cost $1 million or more, he said, given Title IX considerations for providing a facility at least equal to the baseball field, plumbing needs and perhaps drainage concerns.
“We’re going to need bathrooms, and maybe a concession stand,” Harrell said. “We’ll have to make sure that drainage won’t be a problem.”
Board member Eva Andrews said the site was once the best sports site in the district and had never had a drainage problem, but Harrell said the site would still need to be examined.
Harrell said water pressure could be an issue, as well, and district Maintenance Director Mike Scott said there are similar issues all over the district.
“We need to renovate at every campus, because there are plumbing problems,” Scott said. “We’re dealing with the sewer and water lines at every campus. I just had to emergency replace the gas line to the alternative school. We need to address gas, water and sewer lines at every campus.”
Board members suggested Scott may need to talk with Magnolia officials about the water pressure issues at the high school, junior high and Eva Gordon campuses.
No action was taken on those matters.
In other business, the board:
• Re-elected Clara Conerly as board president and elected Carrie Christian as board secretary.
• Accepted $1.655 in donations from eight South Pike graduated classes to support giving the ACT to freshmen; $400 from Cable One to South Pike athletics; and 73 library books from Angela and Morgan White.
• Increased adult lunch prices from $3,75 to $3.85, and adult breakfast prices from $2.25 to $2.30.
• Changed the name on a hunting and fishing lease on 16th Section land from Teddy Joe Fortenberry to Silver Creek Hunting Club.
• Accepted a $1,755 bid from David Blackwell of Tylertown for a hunting and fishing lease on 50 acres of 16th Section land off LeBlanc Road, and tabled a $600 bid on a hunting and fishing lease for 58.84 acres off Elarton Road. Two other 16th Section tracts drew no bids and will be readvertised.
• Approved Patricia Hall as a junior high math teacher; LaTonja Lenard as boys and girls powerlifting coach; and substitute teachers Terry Blake and Lakeisha Spears.