By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – The Water Valley Blue Devil softball team will finally get a home field following a unanimous vote Monday night, August 20, by the Water Valley School Board.
The decision was made after Jerry Holt detailed plans to construct the field. Holt, who retired last year as assistant superintendent, continues to work for the district part-time.
“I am assuming booster club has already got the money available?” Board President Ray Hawkins asked.
Holt told board members that he understood that the booster club would foot the bill for the entire project. He added that the school would incur monthly charges for utilities for the field.
Before giving the softball field the go-ahead, board members listened as Holt also outlined long-term plans for a track course, which would wrap around the softball field.
Plans had been developed in 1999 for a school track, with financing to come from a bond issue at that time. Holt said Monday night that the track construction was scrapped in 1999 for fear that the track financing would cause the bond to fail.
The track will take extensive dirt work and be much more expensive than the softball field, Holt explained.
“They will foot the bill for the entire field,” Holt said.
The team has been playing at the Crawford Sports Complex, paying the city a minimal fee to use the field. Coming off of a winning season last year, the softball field’s booster club members had been exploring options to build a dedicated field exclusively for the fast-pitch high school softball team.
Board member Cayce Washington, who said he had a daughter on the softball team, said that there was a tremendous amount of support already promised by the community.
“I have bricks, fencing already stored under my barn,” Washington said of resources already dedicated for the field. He added that there were others in the community sitting on ready to help with the field project.
The only question raised during the meeting was from board president Ray Hawkins, who speculated that if the softball field was constructed and the track course put off, the track course would never happen.
Other business conducted at the meeting included:
• Hired John Mistilis and Terry Burns as bus drivers; James B. (Barry) Caulfield, III, as a substitute teacher; Grace Bishop, Wesley Walker, Tercresha Alexander and Bobby Hervey as part-time food workers; Santa Hervey as a student worker; Beverly Pearson as a tutor for Reedy Acres; and George Booker as a part-time bus driver.
• Approved school bus turnarounds. This list of designated driveways is submitted to county supervisors, enabling the county to legally provide gravel and grading on private property.
• Disposed of school equipment that was no longer needed.