Pike County BOE prepares to take over Brundidge rec facilities

Published 6:23 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The city recreation lease agreement between the City of Brundidge and the Pike County Board of Education has been finalize and the paperwork should be completed by next week.

According to the lease agreement, the board of education will be in charge of the city’s recreational facilities for 15 years and administer the city’s recreation program for two years. After two years, the city will have the option to reassume the administration of its recreation program.

Dr. Mark Bazzell, superintendent of Pike County Schools, said that he and members of his staff met with city representatives and conducted an inspection of the fields and concession stand to determine what work needs to be done.

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“The most immediate needs are cosmetic,” Bazzell said. “We will add some fencing and expand — almost double — the size of the dugouts at the softball and baseball fields. We’ll reset the bases and make sure that the fields are suitable for play.”

Bazzell said there is the possibility that the ball field at Galloway Park will be used as a practice field. If so, Bazzell said the board of education will help maintain the field. The field that is referred to as “the hole” will also be used as a practice field.

“We’ve got some painting and plumbing to do and we’ve moved in some storage units. But right now, we’re getting ready for high school baseball and softball and it’s time to begin registration for recreation ball.”

Bazzell said he will meet with the board of education next week to recommend Willie Wright, Pike County High School principal, as director of the recreation program.

“We will have a coordinator for each sport and there will be a certified person at every recreational event,” Bazzell said. “There are some safety issues that we must address. Some of the playground equipment needs to be repaired and we must make sure that we are adequately insured.”

During the terms of the 15-year lease of the City’s recreational facilities, the City will pay the Pike County BOE $75,000 a year for the first five years of the lease and $56,250 for the remaining 10 years. The city budgets $75,000 annually for its recreation program.

“I feel sure that we can do what needs to be done and stay within the budget,” Bazzell said.