THE CITY OF PELL — The Pell City Board Of Education has approved a bid to convert the system’s baseball and softball fields to artificial turf.
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the board approved a $1,562,288 bid from Game Day Athletic Surfaces to convert the two fields at Pell City High School to artificial turf. In addition to the costs for the turf itself, the offer will also include drainage systems for the turf and fences. Superintendent James Martin said the project was part of the first phase of projects the system plans to accomplish following the success of the tax referendum last November.
Martin had said before the referendum that sports projects would primarily be the third phase of projects, but that baseball and softball fields needed to be addressed early as they presented a security concern.
The storm shelters at Eden Elementary School and Coosa Valley Elementary School are also included in the first phase of the system’s referendum plan, but Martin said those buildings are currently awaiting state approval. He said the blockage was due to the increased complexity of the building, but the system plans to start those projects in the fall.
Martin said the softball field has major drainage issues because the field is rising in the outfield.
“The ground is actually tilted the wrong way,” he said. “All the water is channeled, due to the way it’s been classified, it’s channeled into our home changing room. Our home changing room gets flooded on a regular basis.
Martin said this means the locker room often has red mud inside from flooding and the school has to make regular efforts to dry it out.
“We spend a lot of money trying to get the thing cleaned up, two have to put a fan in there and three have to take stuff out to keep it from getting moldy, period,” he said.
Martin said the baseball field also had grading issues, specifically that the field had dips. He said it can cause a player to trip and fall and generally not have good footing. He said right field also tends to hold water, describing the situation as sometimes playing baseball in a bog of mud.
Martin said the problem also makes it harder to play the sports themselves.
In other subjects, the council:
– Approved the hiring of Abby Freeman (Coosa Valley Music Teacher), Zachary Searels (PCHS Math Teacher), Lily Rosene (PCHS English Teacher) and Raven Barber (Special Education Teacher) all staff at beginning of the next school year and Gina Dionee Stevens (Mental Health Coordinator) starting July 25;
— Approved the resignations of David Crunklton (PCHS History Professor), Mary Allison Ostrye (Speech Pathologist), Michel Haney (Williams Intermediate School Mathematics Professor), Jason Simmons (PCHS Business Education Professor), Niya Crawford (pre-k assistant teacher at Williams), Cindy Joiner (main pre-kindergarten teacher at Williams), Kylee Berggren (choir and drama teacher at PCHS), Kristy Lemley (transportation secretary) and Hunter McGarity (math teacher in sixth at Williams);
– Approved the retirement of Kathy Fisher (dining room worker at Eden), Lorena Reid (title 1 teacher at Kennedy Elementary School), Velma Kendrick (accountant at Iola Roberts Elementary School) and Kelly Whittington (professor of art at PCHS);
— Approved contracts with Dee Doss (Summer Contract Teacher), Del Hufford (Summer Driver Education Instructor), Holly Costello (3-year primary contract), Anna Grace Rich (Registered Nurse), Amanda Sanford (registered nurse), Hay Ivy (registered nurse) and amended a contract with Melanie Isbell to add five additional hours per week
– Approved Christy Bell, Randi Day, Brittany Falk, Caley Hall, Katie Harris, Abigail Mims, Micheal Pruitt, Cory O’Neal Jr., Elizabeth Webb and Virginia Whitworth as substitute teachers/child nutrition program workers;
– Approved the hiring of Kelsie Ramsey (Jr High Cheer Coach at Duran South Jr. High School) and Austin Noakers (Esports Coach) to additional positions;
– Approves the transfer of Cheryl Black (third-grade math teacher at Iola Roberts to fifth-grade math teacher at Williams) and Patrick Dowell (director of Iola Roberts to director of the pre-k center);
– Reassigned Tonya Helms (acting assistant principal at Williams to assistant principal at Williams), Anita Hawkisn (second-grade teacher at Kennedy to homeroom teacher at Kennedy), Kristin Harrell (director of school improvement and federal programs to principal by acting at Iola Roberts and Director of School Improvement and Federal Programs for the remainder of the school year);
— Approved field trips for PCHS Beta Club (to attend the National Beta Convention in Nashville, Tennessee) and PCHS Archery Team (to attend the National Archery Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky );
— Approval of surplus to Cropwell Baptist Church of a Tornado 20′ floorkeeper ez brush floor scrubber;
— Approved the sale of two surplus jupiter quatume contra marching tubas to Ragland High School for $800;
— Approved a bid from Hawk for the Iola Roberts cold room/freezer project in the amount of $109,493.64. The project will include both the removal of the old freezer and the construction of a new one;
— Approved the PCSS 2022-2026 strategic plan;
— Approved moving the fall holidays to October 10 and 11 for the 2022-2023 school year;
— Approved accounts payable for the month of March 2022 in the amount of $929,800.01;
— Heard the first reading of the City of Pell School Board Policy Manual; and
— Filed the Duran South name change pending review of public comments by the Board of Directors;