By ASHLEY AMASON
Discussion of the Walton High School athletic complex was the bulk of the Dec. 7 Walton County School Board (WCSB) meeting. Architect Bill Elliot of Elliot Marshall Innes, P.A. was present to explain the scope revision and revised design drawings, with an estimated project budget of $6.5 million. Whereas the board had previously planned to construct the complex in three phases, Elliot recommended one phase—2010-11 and 2011-12 school years— for a total savings of over $55,000.
Regarding the current WHS athletic complex, board member Mark Davis said, “There’s not a building in that athletic complex that is ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant. [If we don’t meet ADA requirements] we’re going to be sued. We’ve put those people off for years, they won’t be put off anymore…We’re getting those threats pretty regularly now.”
Director of Facilities Mark Gardner confirmed, “[There are] ADA violations district wide.”
After reviewing renovations and additions to the press box at Yates Memorial Stadium, board newcomer Faye Leddon declared, “I have a big problem voting on a $1 million press box when we got classrooms that need to be fixed.”
Superintendent Carlene Anderson clarified, “This doesn’t take up the whole capital outlay budget…it will not negate having funds for classroom needs.”
Board member Mildred Wilkerson echoed, “The general public does need to know capital outlay [funding] is used for building only, nothing else.”
In addition to the inadequate press box, the board discussed the track at Yates Memorial Stadium, which doesn’t meet National Federation of State High School Associations standards, preventing WHS from hosting district track and field meets.
The board unanimously approved one-phase construction of the WHS athletic complex, which will include stadium façade renovations, new lighting, landscaping, site circulation, baseball and football press box renovations (delete center stair to the press box from the bleachers, reduce baseball press box to one room with four seats, reduce spectator/ADA seating on third floor, provide 20 seating spaces on football side of third floor, reduce first floor baseball side to two toilets, two showers, and combined storage and equipment room), ADA compliant restrooms and concession stands, widen track to eight lanes and level to meet NFHS standards.
The board approved master planning for Walton Middle School, in an amount not to exceed $25,000, which aims to relocate the sixth-grade wing.
All personnel recommendations were unanimously approved, including the relocation of Charlie Morse from administrative assistant at Freeport Elementary School to assistant principal at Freeport Middle School.
Executive Director of the Walton Education Foundation Meredith Spence announced an award in the amount of $2,000 to Christy Scally of the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics work grant. Scally said the funds will be used to purchase GPS systems.
The Walton Education Foundation also awarded classroom mini-grants in amounts of $500-$800 to teachers Laurie Kane, Linda Young, Ann Hepding, Dale Yount, Josie Spence, Denise Findley, Kim Mixson, Forrest Jamison and the fourth grade team at FES, Lynne Martine, Misty Hicks, Susan Dixon, Brandy Wesson, Sandy Miller, and Patsy Lathinghouse. Anderson said these funds help teachers “get out of the box” with their instruction.
Anderson announced Freeport High School football coach Jim Anderson and player Nick Ellington have been selected to coach and play in the Florida North South All-Star Game Dec. 11 at Doug Shaw Stadium.