In a unanimous decision, the board approved $2.8 million in improvements to the softball field, building a baseball practice field and installing artificial turf on the football field at Veterans Memorial Park.
These funds were in a dedicated fund balance for athletic improvements and will not necessitate a bond election. This decision creates a “win-win” situation in working with Coastal Bend College and its athletic teams.
The Lady Cougars will be allowed usage of the future BISD softball complex and the Trojan baseball boys will continue to utilize a renovated Joe Hunter Field, which the college is presently updating. The agreement takes effect on Feb. 1 next year.
Dr. Sue Thomas, superintendent, said that the board recently had mandated a new vision for the BISD to be a “premier district of choice,” in an effort to attract students to the Beeville schools.
The softball complex will be state-of-the-art, according to Trojan Athletic Director Jimmie Mitchell. The renovation of the softball facilities creates a “domino effect” on the other Trojan fields of play.
“It’s a great plan and it brings all of our athletic facilities to another level,” Mitchell said.
Regarding the selection of the company which provides artificial turf to such premier facilities as Cowboy Stadium and the Alamodome, that agreement will allow the Trojan teams to practice at the stadium most of the time and will provide space for the badly needed baseball practice site to be added on campus.
The proposal includes an area for the Trojan band to practice, which will be used later in the school year by the JHS soccer teams for a practice area.
The artificial turf will provide a cost savings in future water bills and reseeding the grass at the stadium, especially attractive during times of drought.
For those who believe more emphasis should be placed on academics, we agree. Yet, recent stories have described improvements in the BISD, including reports that the student dropout rate at A.C. Jones High School has been dramatically reduced and JHS graduates are doing well when they attend colleges and universities.
This decision sounds as if it’s addressing overdue maintenance and should provide a morale boost for the BISD.