New stadium approved

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 19, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045;After months of research and deliberation by the board of education and city council the board accepted the council’s funding commitment that will allow the new football stadium project to move forward.

Plans can be drawn up for the project now that funding has been committed by the board, council and the athletic booster club of the school and the project can move toward completion. Members of the board were excited about the agenda item, which was added at the beginning of the meeting.

Board member Gary Holman said the project came into existence after a stadium committee created by the board found it would be cheaper to build a new stadium rather than repair the old one after weighing the issues. He said the matter then was referred to the council, which sent it to the finance committee.

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Holeman said the council also stipulated the price of the project also cover the demolition of the old stadium. He said they required access to the new facilities for city functions and that the board be responsible for upkeep.

Linda Agee said before construction could begin on the new stadium plans must be draw, submitted to the building commission and bids be taken for the project. She said the board could look for ground breaking on the project in about six months at the earliest. She did tell the board the more expedient they could be with the project the better due to expected project funding from the state that will allow for other schools to begin projects, thus driving up the cost.

In other board business:

4The lowest bid for a fiber optic Internet connection for the schools was rejected in favor of the other bid received by the board at the behest of Sherry Feller. Feller said the lowest bid, $50,160 a year, was from a company from Indiana, which would be unable to provide the kind of support that the other, Birmingham based, company could provide with its bid, $66,960 a year.

Due to other funding sources the board will only have to pay 20 percent of the costs of the connection and due to state policy the bids can only be taken for three-year increments, with an optional two-year extension

4The board accepted the resignations and retirements of five system employees. Principle Mary Glass of Westside Elementary was among the number, and she requested retirement effective June 30.

4Members of the board also approved amending the financial statements and payroll to reflect monies received by grants and federal funds, as well as to provide money for bids being taken for construction on Westside Elementary.

4Nine field trip requests were accepted by the board for three schools in the system.

4The school board also received a concert by the Demopolis High School Jazz Band and refreshments by the Student Government Association prior to the meeting as a part of School Board Appreciation Month. Representatives form each school presented board members with tokens of appreciation for their work.