Skip to content

BOE approves more stadium improvements

After approving over $20,000 in improvements at West Thomas Stadium last month, the Grady County Board of Education on Tuesday night approved another $24,800 in additional work at the Cairo High School facility.
In August, the board approved $21,004 for drainage improvements at the north end of the stadium. As part of the work, Maintenance Director Dave Mitchell brought forward additional recommendations.
Mitchell suggested that removal of existing steps in front of the Band Stand Concession Stand at the north end of the stadium and replacing them at the north end of the west stands would help correct some of the drainage issues experienced on the field.
“Those steps are really not to code and are too steep and should be replaced,” Mitchell told board members this week.
The maintenance director is also proposing the removal of some trees as well as the installation of a sidewalk that would connect the new stairs to the north end zone bleachers.
Mitchell is also planning to regrade the slope at the north end of the stadium to make it easier to mow. According to the maintenance director, it takes two days of weed eating to mow that section of the grounds because of the steep slope.
Based on pricing Mitchell has received, a breakdown of the cost of the project would be: form and pour new concrete steps and sidewalk – $10,000; removal of old steps, ramp and hauling fill dirt – $5,000; tree removal – $3,000; fence removal – $2,000; new grass and seed – $2,500; and new hand rails – $2,300 for a total of $24,800.
The board members also expressed their willingness to give School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard the approval to proceed with all of the projects included on a system “wish list” based on the project costs the superintendent presented to the board.
Among those projects is an estimated $50,000 to make repairs to the floor of the weight room of the Williams Field House at CHS. Dr. Gilliard and Mitchell said that they anticipated being able to complete that project at a lower than projected cost, but did not have any actual quotes at this time.
Over time the floor has been damaged and is uneven, which can cause student athletes to trip or stumble with weights. The repairs include making the floor level again and installing new rubber mats.
“We’ve all discussed this and we’ve all had input and we were all in agreement we need to do these things,” board member Jeff Worsham said. Worsham suggested the board approve a not-to exceed figure.
The board concurred and voted unanimously to authorize the expenditures based on the projected cost.
“We’ll try to get it done for less,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Also included on the list are new risers, chorus shell and microphones for the CHS auditorium. CHS choral director Erikka Edwards is planning a system-wide fall choral concert as well as a tri-county choral event and the risers and shell are needed improvements in order to host such events. Gilliard projects the costs to be: risers – $7,800; choir shell – $12,600; and microphones – $10,000.
The superintendent said the actual cost of the microphones would likely be lower.
Other big ticket items proposed include: $80,000 for the demolition of the old wings at Southside; $100,000 for securing the archways on each side of the auditorium at Southside Elementary School once the demolition is completed; $100,000 for air conditioning of the gyms at Washington Middle School and Whigham School; $15,000 for fencing of the former Kines property, which is now part of the Shiver School campus to create livestock pens and renovate the interior of the former Kines home, which will be used for vo-ag classes.
“We will not tackle all of these projects all at once. We will spread them out as we work to maintain cash flow and meet other obligations,” Dr. Gilliard said.
All of the projects on the “wish list” are being paid for from the school system’s cash reserves.
“We may not get there as quick as everyone wants us to, but we will get there eventually,” board member Worsham commented.

Leave a Comment