The Cullman County Board of Education is moving forward with plans to remove the condemned bleachers at Fairview High School’s football stadium, despite a lack of interested third-party bidders to handle the work.

The school board recently opened bids for the bleacher removal, but no bids were returned for the project. In the absence of a willing contractor, superintendent Dr. Craig Ross said the system’s internal maintenance department will coordinate and handle the project.

“We’ll be doing that ourselves, and the community has also expressed an interest in helping there,” Ross said. “We’ve also had someone express interest in getting the concrete, so we’ll look at that.”

Removing the dangerous, dilapidated bleachers is just the first step in a multi-pronged approach to revitalize Dafford Smith Stadium. While fundraising continues to eventually replace the bleachers, officials hope to install temporary seating to allow the football team to return to the site this August for the start of the 2015 season.

“That is our goal,” Ross said. “We want to have them back in there before football season.”

Officials determined the bleachers at the high school’s Dafford Smith Stadium would be unusable due to deterioration less than a week before kickoff for the first home game of 2014, and quickly worked out an agreement with nearby Cullman High School to host home games there for the season. Large cracks were visible in the concrete stands, and an engineer surveyed the facility and deemed it unsafe for use.

Moving forward, the community has founded a volunteer committee to help with planning for eventual repairs and fundraising for the estimated $2.7 million repair and expansion. Fairview residents have joined school board member Chris Carter and state representative Randall Shedd, the former mayor of Fairview, on a stadium renovation committee.

The committee is working, along with superintendent Dr. Craig Ross, to break the large project into reasonable phases. According to Ross, the goal is to build a “state of the art athletic facility” for students and the community.

In other business the board:

* Awarded and recognized:

— Melinda Campbell, Holly Pond Middle School – National Board Certified Teacher (Cullman County has 19 National Board Certified Teachers).

— Dana Lisle, Hanceville High School - Alabama State Secondary Teacher of the Year for Cullman County.

— Anita H. Nelson, Fairview Elementary School – Jacksonville State University Elementary, Teacher Hall of Fame for Cullman County.

— Dana Lisle, Hanceville High School – Jacksonville State University Secondary Teacher, Hall of Fame for Cullman County.

* Approved minutes for December 11, 2014 and January 20, 2015.

* Approved resignations:

— Jennifer Jones, Custodian, Good Hope Primary.

— James Brett Neal, Varsity Baseball Head Coach, Holly Pond High.

— Sindra Kelley, CNP Worker, Harmony.

— Stephanie McClure, Health Science Teacher, Career Center.

— Misty Taylor, Guidance Counselor, Vinemont Elementary.

* Approved leaves of absence:

— Cindy Miller, 1st grade Teacher, Fairview Elementary.

— Deborah E. Crumbley, CNP Manager, Fairview.

* Approved appointments:

— Kristi Daniel, Custodian, Good Hope Primary.

— Randi Thomas, nurse substitute.

— Shelia Diana White, bus driver substitute (eff. 1/16/15).

* Approved non-faculty coaches:

— Steve Woodard, West Point High Baseball.

— Sommer Folds, Holly Pond High Softball.

* Approved contract/salary changes:

— Jay Huddleston add Varsity Baseball Head Coaching supplement, Holly Pond High.

— Sommer Folds add Varsity Softball Head Coaching supplement, Holly Pond High.

— Melinda Campbell, Counselor, Holly Pond Middle, National Board Certification, $5,000 annual salary supplement.

* Approved December 2014 bills, salaries and financial statements.

* Approved out-of-state field trip requests:

— Parkside, April 10, 2015, to Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia for Education Days - Math.

— Holly Pond Middle, May 1, 2015 to Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia for Math and Science Day.

— Good Hope Middle, May 10-16, 2015 to Washington, D.C. to tour capital.

— West Point High, May 29-31, 2015 to Chicago, Illinois for scholar’s bowl for NAQT National Championship Tournament.

— West Point High, April 24-26, 2015 to Atlanta, Georgia for scholar’s bowl for Small Schools NAQT National Championship Tournament.

February is Alabama Career and Technical Education month and Black History Month.

Our sympathies are with the families of Paula Sue McCravy and Donald Jones who passed away recently. Both were retired Cullman County School employees.”

Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 134.

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