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New Hope soccer field renovations in the works


Garthia Elena Burnett



Lowndes County School District''s board of education is moving forward on the potential renovation of the New Hope soccer field. The field''s bleachers are deteriorating from age. 


"If you''re familiar with it, you know the safety issues (there)," Lowndes County Superintendent of Education Mike Halford said. 


The plan is to remove the bleachers and create seating for up to 300-200 on the home side and 100 on the visitors'' side -- and a chain-link fence and remote-control capabilities to the current scoreboard. The project is estimated to cost $105,000. 


The school board Friday approved seeking bids for the project and will decide on the matter once bids are received. 


In other matters, the board: 


n Elected new officers and made board appointments for the year. Bobby Barksdale is president; Jane Kilgore is vice president, and Brian Clark is secretary. Jeff Smith was reappointed board attorney on a 4-1 vote, with board member Jacqueline Gray opposed, though she did not nominate another candidate. Joey Henderson of JBHM Architects was reappointed board architect, a unanimous decision. Tina Richards was reappointed 16th Section land appraiser, a unanimous decision, and Gary Goodwyn was appointed disciplinary hearing officer. 


n Voted to request a special election during the regular November 2011 election cycle, to fill the unexpired term of Dr. Robert Buckley, who resigned from his post as District 4 board member when he moved to Clay County. Board members appointed firefighter Mike Gibson to the seat in the interim. Gibson intends to run to fill the remainder of the term, which expires in 2012. District 4 includes the New Hope area and parts of West Lowndes. 


n Heard a request from board member Jacqueline Gray to reschedule the school board meetings, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Gray, who is an administrator at a West Point School, leaves school to attend the meetings. Additionally, she said, an evening meeting would allow parents, teachers and community members more opportunity to attend the public meetings. The Lowndes County school board meets the second Friday of each month at 11 a.m. at central office on Highway 45 South. 


Gray made a motion to change the meeting time; the motion died for lack of a second. Gray has made like points and motions over the years, though the request has fallen on deaf ears.




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