Moving forward with field project

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2014


TWO OPTIONS: Lynn Walker Greer spoke to the school board about two ways to address the first part of a drainage project. By Jeremy Pittari

TWO OPTIONS: Lynn Walker Greer spoke to the school board about two ways to address the first part of a drainage project.
By Jeremy Pittari

The school board for the Picayune Separate Municipal School District approved a motion to apply for bids to conduct initial drainage work to the baseball field on Union School Road.

The work is needed to fix a problem associated with the buildup of storm water after heavy rains on the boy’s baseball outfield, creating a difficult surface on which to play games.

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Lynn Walker Greer, with Landry and Lewis  Architects, spoke to the board during Tuesday’s meeting about an avenue they could take to fix the problem. She said plans have been drawn up to conduct the initial project, which would entail cleaning the existing drainage ditch and lowering the culvert currently running under Central Avenue in order to take storm water out of the area. That water would be diverted to an existing canal the city of Picayune currently uses to bring water to a water treatment facility off of Airport Road.

The culvert under the road would need to be lowered because it currently sits higher than the grade of the ditch that drains the field, Greer said. In order to lower the culvert the board would need to seek permission from the city. Greer said her office is already in contact with the city engineer to work out those details.

Greer estimates the cost of the initial project to be between $40,000 to $45,000, less than the state mandated limit of $50,000 to warrant seeking formal bids.

Or, Greer said, the board could just seek bids now in case the estimate is off.

She suggested two routes because using a bid process will push the project back by about five weeks in order to advertise and receive bids, putting the earliest possible start date at the end of August. In essence, the only cost in seeking bids would be in time, not money, Greer said.

“Time is not an issue,” Superintendent Dean Shaw said.

Board member Jimmy Hancock agreed the board should seek bids because it would mean the district would receive a better price for the work. The board unanimously approved seeking bids for the project.

A long-term project is also being considered that would involve digging up the outfield in order to install drainage features under the grass.

The board also approved a motion to accept a donation of school supplies from Lorenzo Breland, a former Maroon Tide football player, to be donated to local elementary students.  Breland will be using the South Side Elementary Cafetorium on Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide local children with the supplies and speak about the importance of an education and being active. He has donated supplies locally for the past four years.

The board approved ticket price increases to attend sporting events. Athletic ticket prices for the all sports package will increase from $50 to $55. Shaw said this increase is due to the addition of two more home games as compared to last year. Senior citizen package prices will remain the same at $25, while student package prices will increase $5 to $25. General admission season football ticket packages will increase by $12 to $32, and student season football package prices will increase from $10 to $15.

Reserved football season packages will increase from $25 to $40.

Shaw said all individual ticket prices will also increase by $1 for every sporting event.

Finance Administrator Lisa Penton said the United Way will hold a school supply donation event at the local Walmart on Aug. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. Community members can donate school supplies to families in need by bringing them to school bus that will be parked in front of the retailer.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 12.