Taking a swing

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, August 2, 2012

A baseball field is seen in Brundidge, Ala., Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Pike County Schools step up, offer take over Brundidge rec programs

The Pike County Board of Education may take over operations of recreational facilities and programs in Brundidge.

The Pike County Board of Education on Monday granted permission to Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent, to move forward with negotiations with the City of Brundidge to allow the school system to be in charge of the recreational facilities and programs in Brundidge.  Pike County Elementary School and Pike County High School are located within the city of Brundidge.

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Bazzell said this agreement would be a unique opportunity to continue to build and grow the system’s athletic program and provide recreational opportunities for its students.

“We would want a long-term lease that would allow us to make capital improvements to the property,” Bazzell said.

“I believe this agreement would be very positive for our kids.”

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas said Bazzell had approached the city and asked if the city would considered some type of agreement through which the Pike County School System could make improvements to the city’s recreation facilities.

“Of course, that was intriguing,” Thomas said. “Any time someone wants to make improvements to the city’s facilities, that’s of interest.”

Because the county school system already uses some of the city’s recreation facilities and because of its direct involvement with students and teachers, Bazzell opened a door of opportunity that could be beneficial to both the city and the county school system, Thomas said.

“The city recreation department could be a continuation of the interaction with the students and teachers,” Thomas said.

“This could be a great value to the city. Hopefully, there would be more involvement in our recreation program because of the school system.”

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage agreed that such an agreement between the city and the county school board would be beneficial to all concerned.

“Dr. Bazzell is interested in a long-term lease so that the county school board can make improvements to the baseball and softball fields to bring them up to standards required for the new rules for those sports,” Ramage said.

“The partnership the city has with East Central Mental Health for its after school program has been very successful. We’ll look seriously at this opportunity. It could be a good way to having a better recreational program with more kids involved. That’s the idea behind city recreation – to get kids involved.”

Thomas said Ramage advised the council members in a memo of the opportunity but no formal discussion has been held on the city’s end.

Thomas said there is a possibility that Bazzell could attend the council’s Aug. 7 meeting to outline the county school’s proposal.