CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

October 22, 2009

Turf talk

CHS football stadium, track renovations in the works

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — Major renovations for the Cullman High School football stadium and track are in the works and could begin within the next few months.

The top priorities will include the installation of artificial turf on the football field, which will replace the current natural grass field, as well as a new eight-lane track. Renovations to the concession stand, press box, entrance and the addition of more seating space on the visitor’s side are also being considered.

The work could be finished before the start of next football season in August 2010, pending eventual board approval.

The Cullman City Schools board approved Holcombe Norton Partners, Inc. as the architect to begin the design work.

Drainage problems for the field and damage to the existing track are the driving forces behind the project, Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris said.

“We have drainage problems that make it hard for us to host events on our field,” she said. “Also, our current track is just in very bad shape.”

Mark Britton, head football coach at CHS, said the renovations would be a huge benefit to the students and community.

“We’ve had a number of incidents where we just have too many demands on our field,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’ve had to cancel events before because the field just can’t handle the wear and tear. This will be a huge benefit to all our students.”

Architect Ed Norton said the artificial turf field would be better equipped to handle increased usage. He also said it would likely be safer than the current natural grass field.

“Once you beat the natural grass down, you’re really just playing on dirt,” he said.

Cullman Middle School Principal Lane Hill said the installation of a new track could also serve as a catalyst for the local economy.

“With a new track, we would be able to host track meets and that could bring a tremendous amount of revenue into the area,” he said. “In turn, that money will then come right back to the school system through tax revenue.”

The total estimate for the entire project is approximately $3 million, though Harris said bids could potentially come back lower.

“We’ve saved to build up our reserves and we feel this is the perfect environment and perfect timing to do this,” she said.

In addition to this project, the city school system is also building a new library at West Elementary School, as well as new science classrooms and a new practice gymnasium at Cullman High School.

The board also:

* Recognized Jake Ledbetter, Jasef Wisener, Robert Cole and Matthew Edmondson for creating “Ticket to Cullman.”

* Reconstituted the board and appointed Brenda Howell as president, Steven Sides as vice-president and Jackie Joiner as recording secretary.

* Appointed Dr. Jan Harris, superintendent, as the official who is responsible for the signing of official documents, federal proposals, grants, and applications for funds.

* Approved September 15, 2009 minutes.

* Approved September payroll of $1,693,132.04, invoices paid of $687,502.30, and September 2009 financial statements.

* Approved permission to surplus and salvage various furniture items from Head Start and Cullman City Primary School.

* Approved permission to surplus and salvage various Child Nutrition Program equipment.

* Approved permission to surplus and salvage old bus fleet cell phones.

* Approved permission for the Varsity Baseball team to travel to Jackson, Mississippi, March 4-7, 2010 to participate in the Mid Mississippi Classic Tournament.

* Approved permission for the Cullman High School FCCLA Club to travel to Louisville, Kentucky, November 20-22, 2009 to participate in the National Cluster Meeting.

* Approved a revised Board Policy JGI-Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition. This item was sent out to the Policy Review Committee.

* Approved a revised Board Policy GBI-Evaluation of Certified Personnel. This item was sent out to the Policy Review Committee. All certified job descriptions will be revised to reflect the new evaluation wording.

* Selected a delegate and alternate delegate to represent Cullman City Schools at the Alabama Association of School Boards 2009 Convention and Delegate Assembly, December 3, 2009 in Birmingham.

* Proposed approval of revised Board Policy JGH-Child Nutrition Program. This item will be sent out to the Policy Review Committee and brought back to the Board for consideration.

* Proposed approval of revised Board Policy EE-Food Service Management. This item will be sent out to the Policy Review Committee and brought back to the Board for consideration.

* Granted permission to bid #10-20-09-01 and accept the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications for a maintenance vehicle.

* Granted permission to contract with Amy Brown to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Angela Stansberry to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Karen Perry to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Sara Cole to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Tracy Marsh to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Beth Calvert to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Jennifer Calahan to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Kim Bussey to provide Homebound Instruction services.

* Granted permission to contract with Jackie Keith Mead to provide bus mechanic services.

* Granted permission to contract with Patrick Bates to provide emergency network support services.

* Approved the 2009-10 Cullman City Head Start grant application including the permanent reduction to 120 students (6 classrooms).

* Granted permission to contract with Wallace State Dental Clinic to provide dental screenings and cleanings for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted permission to contract with Dr. Samuel Oliver to provide dental services for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted permission to contract with Dr. Rex Adams to provide dental services for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted permission to contract with Kim Dumas, CRNP with Family Medical Clinic, to provide health examinations for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted permission to contract with Dr. Joseph Jowers to provide health examinations for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted permission to contract with Dr. Mark Addison as a health services advisor for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted permission to contract with Mental Healthcare of Cullman to provide psychological consultation services for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted permission to contract with Donna Jackson to provide nutrition consultation services for Cullman City Head Start.

* Granted approval of the LEA Interagency Agreement between Cullman City Head Start and the Cullman City Board of Education to establish a collaborative relationship in identifying and providing coordinating services to children with disabilities enrolled in Cullman City Head Start.

* Approved a leave of absence for Christopher Smith, band director at Cullman High School.

* Approved the employment of Cullman City Primary School secretary Joy Kilgo.

* Approved the temporary employment of Rachael Ellison as a math teacher at Cullman High School.

* Approved a yearbook advisor supplement for Lori Bowden at East Elementary School.

* Announced the November board meeting for Tuesday, November 17, at 6 p.m. at the central office.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 225.