Swim team recognized, parent asks School Board to consider building facility for team

Published 2:04 pm Friday, November 12, 2021

Members of the Picayune School District’s Board of Trustees heard about the success of the varsity swim team over the past season and heard from a parent of a participant of the team that there is a need for the district to build a pool for the team to use for practice sessions and home competitions.

Head Coach Rachael Rutherford said that several members of the team placed in the State Swim Championship held in September.

Those individuals included Lily Ginn, Lauren Stevenson, Kylie Burnette and Heidi Hill placing seventh in the girls 200 medley relay.

In the girls 200 free event, Lauren Stevenson placed fourth, Lily Ginn placed sixth and Addison Taggard placed eighth.

In the girls 100 fly, Burnette placed fourth while Emily Mitchell placed 11th.

In the girls 50 free, Hill placed 12th and Jacey Luckie placed 10th in the girls 500 free.

During the girls 200 free relay, the team placed 10th, which included Mitchell, Victoria Vloedman, Hill and Taggard.

Taggard also placed 9th in the girls 100 back event.

In the boys 100 back stroke event, Ryder Burge placed 13th.

During the girls 100 breast stroke event, Burnette placed third and Stevenson placed 14th.

Taggard, Burnett, Lily Ginn and Stevenson also placed eighth in the girls 400 relay race. During that event, Rylee Martin was the alternate.

In the boys 200 medley relay, Parker Helton, Burge, Jackson Akins and Ian Herring  placed 13th, with James Smith serving as the alternate.

In other business, Jeff Luckie spoke to the Board again about the need for the swim team to have better practice and competition day accommodations. The pool the team currently uses for practice sessions and for home competitions is located at Millbrook Country Club. His complaint is that the pool is not maintained as well as it should be, and the Maroon Tide’s team has to spilt practice sessions with other teams in the area, such as Pearl River Central’s Blue Devils and a local private school. Additionally, the team has to pay $4,000 to use the pool for the season since the facility is not owned by the district the team can’t generate revenue through the sale of concessions or even charge for admission to competitions.

Luckie said he would like to see the district construct an indoor facility. If such a facility would be built, then Luckie said it could generate some revenue for the district by renting it out to other schools in the area and possibly through water aerobics classes.

Board Member David Mooneyham asked what such a facility would cost, to which Luckie estimated $1.1 million for a premier indoor facility like the one in Biloxi, to about $300,000 for a outdoor facility with a metal frame covering like the one in DeLisle.

No decision was made on the matter by the Board during Tuesday’s meeting.