HOULKA – The Chickasaw County School Board wants a football field but may not have the room to expand as the program grows.
Trustees discussed how the proposed football field behind the city’s baseball field off of Highway 32 may not be big enough for a field house, football field and practice field.
“You usually don’t practice on your football field during the week,” said Superintendent Dr. Betsy Collums. “We are about to sign a deed with the city and do a land swap.”
School Board Attorney Jimmy Hood said he has drawn up paperwork that will allow Collums Furniture to deed the land to the district and the district to turn around and deed the property to the City of New Houlka.
Hood said moving the property to different parties in this fashion was necessary to get the land in the city’s name for maintenance purposes. Hood also pointed out the land-swap allows each entity to get what they need to manage their property.
“Will we need more property?” asked Trustee Kenneth Linton. “I’ve been told it is a tight fit.”
Linton said the district has been told they have an easement to build a road and Chickasaw County has tentatively agree to help with dirtwork. Linton also said as the program grows, parking may become an issue.
“We never got an answer if everything will fit,” said Trustee Jamie Earp. “I would hate to be looking for more land in a year or two.”
Trustee Pam Butler said she saw no reason for an immediate decision.
“Do we need to do it right now?” she said. “Until we get these questions answered I don’t think we need to vote.”
Collums said she has heard estimates of $500,000 to build the Wildcats a football field at that location.
Linton said he felt there were ways to get that cost down and he pointed out the National Guard might be able to do dirtwork as a training exercise.
Linton said the district needed to check with the county for an exact size of the property, figure in the land-swap and then draw off their needs for a football field, practice field and field house.
The board took no action on the deed.
In other business:
• The board approved Courtney Woodard as a volunteer for the Junior High Basketball team. The board also approved Vicki Homan as a substitute bookkeeper for the Wildcat basketball team.
• The board voted to place Clementine Anderson and Vida Smith on the substitute teacher roll for the district.
• Trustees hired Jeannie Lee Ward as the high school librarian for the remainder of the school year.
• The board approved the transfer of students Sawyer Byars, Sean Gregory and Gavin Burt from other school districts to the Chickasaw County School District.
• Trustees voted to approve board policy for school board operations and fiscal management of district funds as required by state law. The policy governs how the board does general business and who is responsible for documents and procedure.
• Collums said auditors had no findings with the district’s recent annual audit.
• The board also approved previous meeting minutes, the monthly financial statement, fundraisers and field trips.