BY SARAH R. GREGORY
A partnership between the Greeneville City School System and the Town of Greeneville's Parks and Recreation Department to improve a softball field has been approved by the Greeneville City Board of Education.
Board members voted unanimously in favor of a capital project that will result in $50,000 worth of improvements to a softball field at Hardin Park, with the school system and Parks and Recreation splitting the cost down the middle.
Softball and baseball fields at Hardin Park have been used by teams of the Greeneville City School System for many years since the schools do not have fields of their own.
"Last year, [Director of Schools Dr. Linda Stroud] asked me to have some conversations with baseball and softball teams, including the booster clubs, in regard to the fields and some of the conditions that our athletes were playing in," Assistant Director of Schools for Administration Beverly Miller said.
"We have never as a school system really contributed anything to the upkeep and improvement of the fields," Miller said.
"Truthfully, I think it's just simply time that we did," she added, commenting that the school system is greatly appreciative to the Parks and Recreation Department for allowing use of the facilities.
Miller said she and Operations Supervisor Phillip Graham recently met with Parks and Recreation Department Director Butch Patterson to identify needs at the baseball and softball fields.
The result of that meeting, Miller said, was a proposal for a "50/50 partnership" between the school system and Parks and Recreation.
The partnership will result in approximately $50,000 worth of improvements to the softball field, which include:
* work to the dugout, with new blocks and concrete;
* installation of fencing, including fencing that will meet regulations that are not currently being met;
* bleachers for both sides of the field; and,
* upgrades and new siding for the press box.
"We are hoping to accomplish all of these things and still have enough money to do a dressing room this year," Miller said.
"Basically, my proposal and recommendation is that we commit $25,000 toward this project," Miller said, with another $25,000 being dedicated by the Parks and Recreation Department.
Miller said that employees of the Parks and Recreation Department will carry out the work: an arrangement meaning that the funds will be used for materials.
Greeneville City Schools' maintenance staff may able to assist if necessary, Miller added.
Board members voted unanimously with little discussion to approve funding from the 2013-2014 capital improvements budget for the partnership.