In the course of the common assembly of the Madison County District Faculty Board on Monday, April 5, Faculty Board Member Frankie Carroll introduced up the circumstances of among the athletic services at Madison County Excessive Faculty (MCHS). Carroll, a former MCHS Head Soccer Coach, stated he felt that the situation of the tennis courts and the observe on the college may pose a danger of damage to the varsity athletes. Carroll additionally addressed the situation of the press field at Boot Hill Stadium. “I feel that press field is a legal responsibility,” stated Carroll. “It [could] fall on someone’s head.” Based on Faculty Superintendent Shirley Joseph, the varsity’s upkeep division has plans to restore the press field through the summer season months.
The situation of the observe and the tennis courts has been a subject of dialogue for a number of years. Each services have cracks and holes within the surfaces, by means of which weeds and grass are rising. “Earlier than apply, we exit and pull weeds,” stated MCHS Tennis Coach Brigitte Gudz. Based on the present Faculty Board Chairman Bart Alford, the varsity board has been speaking in regards to the tennis courts since 2013. In 2016, estimates had been acquired on the value of six new tennis courts. The estimated price ticket on new tennis courts totaled $161,000. The value for a brand new eight-lane observe could be within the neighborhood of $124,000. If MCHS hoped to host district observe meets, the observe must be eight lanes and constructed out of a rubberized materials as an alternative of asphalt, which is the present floor. This requirement is for security causes. Now, the situation of the observe is so dilapidated that no observe meets might be held.
“I agree it is one thing we have to have a look at,” stated Alford. All the varsity board members agreed that the necessity exists for main repairs and upgrades to be made. The issue lies with the shortage of funds to perform this. It was hoped that the observe and tennis courts could be a part of the $15 million college renovation venture undertaken a number of years in the past, however that didn’t grow to be the case.
Carroll requested if it will be doable to suggest a “SPLOST” tax, as a number of Georgia communities have completed. A “Particular Objective Native Possibility Gross sales Tax (SPLOST)” is, because the title implies, a gross sales tax that can be utilized to fund sure tasks. The Metropolis of Valdosta has used “SPLOST” funds to nice success to assist fund the brand new water therapy system for town.
Faculty Board Lawyer Tommy Reeves supplied three recommendations to the board to think about when it comes to funding sources for the services. One was the SPLOST possibility. This may very well be a half-penny per greenback gross sales tax along with the present advert valorem tax. This must be accepted by the voters of Madison County. Reeves stated, to his information, Madison County had by no means had a SPLOST tax and he was unsure what the restrictions on such a plan could be. An alternative choice may very well be to levy one other two mills to make use of for services. It was not believed that the district is utilizing the complete two mills on the present time.
A 3rd possibility for funding may very well be “racetrack” funds from the state. “Racetrack” funds are funds from canine racing and different para-mutual betting sources. With a view to preserve from presumably dropping the provision of those funds, bonds had been taken out in opposition to these funds. Reeves stated it may very well be doable to refinance these bonds. Reeves stated he would check out the chances that exist with these three choices.
An alternative choice that may very well be used to no less than resurface the observe are “asphalt funds.” These funds come from the varsity’s transportation exercise within the type of rebates. These funds can solely be used on oil-based merchandise, resembling asphalt. Many faculties use these funds for resurfacing parking tons, and many others.
An alternative choice may very well be a partnership with the county to make use of the tennis courts on the Recreation Division. There may very well be grants accessible for extra tennis courts, however the courts must be open to the general public part of the time.
In the meanwhile, security is a serious concern relating to these growing old services. The tennis courts might already be too far gone for merely resurfacing. With the varsity system being as strapped for funds as they’re, it might come all the way down to neighborhood help with a view to accomplish these enhancements.
The subsequent common assembly of the Madison County District Faculty Board is scheduled for Monday, April 19, at 6 p.m. The assembly will happen within the district workplace at 210 NE Duval Ave., in Madison.