Board approves future school construction projectsBy Regina Grayson

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 3, 2007

Brantley, Highland Home and Luverne schools will soon be the recipients of some much-needed upgrades and new facilities on each campus after the Crenshaw County Board of Education gave its approval of the projects at its Jan. 18 meeting.

Crenshaw County Schools Superintendent Kathi Wallace presented the board with a ‘wish list' from each school for the projects. &#8220I believe we are able to spend $500,000 right now on our children, because all of this is, ultimately, for them,” Wallace said.

The school system will also contract with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to start drawing up some plans, with the cafeteria project for Luverne School being the first thing on the Capital Plan. The cafeteria will be a project that will come with the anticipated passage of a bond issue during this legislative session.

The system is also going to be looking at utilizing the recent properties it purchased next to Brantley High School.

At Brantley School, the board gave the approval for a new girls' softball field to be built on some of the new property that was purchased next to the school site. Wallace gave the board a rough estimate of $50,000 for the new field.

&#8220Preparation work (for the new field) definitely needs to be done now,” Wallace said. &#8220We'll still have to use the city park this year, but if we don't start it now, we won't be ready for next year.”

There are two existing trailers on the school's campus that will have to be removed for the new field. Wallace said that one of the trailers is currently used by visiting teams.

Wallace asked the board to approve a new building that would be big enough for a visiting football team's dressing room and to be used by the girls' softball team. It would also have a concession area with one side opening toward the football field and another side opening toward the girls' softball field. The building would also contain restrooms and enough showers so the school could host playoff games. Wallace gave the board a rough estimate of $150,000 for the building.

At Highland Home School, the board gave its approval for a new metal roof on the primary grades' building, which is the biggest building on campus. It contains ten classrooms. Wallace added that this project would also include renovations of the bathrooms as well.

Wallace said the possible bid cost for the total project was approximately $275,000. This project would be considered a &#8220summer project” and will be paid for out of this year's Capital Purchase funds.

Also at HHS, the board

cussed a 1,200 square-foot building that could be used as dressing areas for football and baseball teams, and would include showers for the visiting teams at HHS. This building could possibly be located where the old concession stand is now.

At Luverne School, the board approved $25,000 in upgrades on the baseball facilities and $50,000 in upgrades on the football facilities. Also, another project would include a concession/restroom/storage area that is presently referred to as the softball building, which is located behind the new softball field.

&#8220These things are just as important to our children, and we are at a point where we can help them,” Wallace said.

&#8220In the past, we've patched and patched,” Board Chairman Willie Smith said. &#8220I agree that these are good ideas and good ways to help and support our students.”