Soccer teams’ boosters seek improvements to field

Published 5:38 pm Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Some of the improvements to the soccer field sought by the Picayune Memorial High School Soccer Booster Club may not be necessary, if a major project involving the football field go forward, the secretary to the club was told at Tuesday’s meeting the school board for the Picayune Municipal Separate School District.

Tim Herrington, secretary for the club brought a proposal for a concession stand containing restrooms totaling $117,000 the club would like to see built to the soccer field. The club also would like to have team locker rooms and lighting for the parking lot. The boys and girls teams now have no where to go to the restroom, especially during practices, Herrington said.

“It’s one thing to point young men to the woods. You can’t point young women to the woods,” he said.

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He said that when the restrooms for the adjacent baseball field are available, there are no lights in the parking lot through which team members, and fans attending the games, have to go to reach those facilities, making the trip dangerous at night, especially when cars are being parked or are leaving the parking lot.

Herrington said the both the boys and girls soccer teams have improved substantially in recent years and that the game is steadily growing in popularity. He said the booster club will help pay for some of the work, up to $20,000, either through providing money or providing volunteer labor.

“There are lots of things for the booster club to pay for,” he said.

Board member Tony Smith told Herrington that some of the improvements sought by the booster club may not be needed because the board is considering putting artificial turf on the Maroon Tide football field, which would turn that field into a multi-purpose facility that could be used by the soccer teams and by the PMHS band.

He and other board members roughly estimated the cost of the turf to be about $250,000. Smith said that with that improvement to the football field, the soccer games could be moved to the football field, greatly reducing the size, type and cost of the facility needed at the soccer field.

Herrington pointed out that the soccer and football seasons overlap, especially if the football team goes into post season play. However, Smith and Superintendent Dean Shaw said any conflicts could be worked out, if the board goes ahead with the football field improvements.

The board also took action on playgrounds for the elementary schools, voting to try to install one playground at an elementary school each year until each has an adequate facility.

The board also voted to approve a canopy at the high school to provide a covered area for elementary student changing buses there. However, the board wants to see a schematic of the work to ensure that it would be “attractive” before any work begins.

The school board voted to seek quotes on an electronic sign at the district’s central offices that would be capable of providing messages on district activities to residents traveling up and down Goodyear Boulevard. The board had a quote from a Sarasota, Fla., sign company for a single-sided sign at about $22,400 and for a double-sided sign at about $30,000. The board wanted to get quotes from other companies, especially Mississippi ones, before making a decision.

In other matters, the board voted to:

— Approve personnel matters.

— Approve consent items, including the donation of $1,000 from the Picayune Rotary Club for playground materials at Nicholson Elementary.

— Approved a professional development agreement with Gulf Coast Education Initiative Consortium at Nicholson Elementary.

— Approved 16th section matters.

— A payment of $323,352. 32 to Webster Electric for the stadium lighting. The district will not be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency until the project is completed. FEMA is paying for the work because of damage from Hurricane Katrina.

— Approved an amend to the service agreement with Coastal Waste Services.

— Approved a service agreement with Sharron D. Paige at Early Head Start.

— Approved a contract for mental health consultation service for Early Head Start.

— Approved the second reading to a revision to board policy DA-Fiscal Management Goals and Objectives.

— Approved bus turnarounds.

— Voted to go into executive session.