Superintendent Jason Adkins and board members heard comments from Parrish Mayor Cedric Ramsey requesting that the old gym either be donated or leased to the town of Parrish.
“I come before you asking if there is any way that this gym could be possibly donated to the town of Parrish on behalf of our park and rec, because our park and rec is in dire need of a gym. Right now, we’re using a lot of churches in our community for practice and playing park and rec basketball, and that gym down there is really going to waste because nobody gets a chance to use it,” Ramsey said. “I know several months ago, at the first of the school year, there was a chance for us, a price was thrown out there, that we could possibly purchase that gym. At this time, we are not in a financial situation to take out a lot of money to purchase a gym.
“It would be beneficial to our kids,” he continued. “That’s why we are asking for it, for our community and our kids to have a safe place to play basketball.”
He went on to mention how the town supports the schools in the area by providing a resource officer. Officer Steven Yarbrough patrols both the elementary and high school. Ramsey said the town furnishes Yarbrough’s salary for during the entire school year, including other services the town procures for the schools.
District 3 board member Bill Edd Gilbert asked, “Will the town of Parrish take the liability if someone was to get hurt there?”
Ramsey replied, “We’ll take full responsibility and in maintaining it also. We’ve always helped in maintaining, as far as cutting the grass, and when people break into it or when kids are down there playing, we send our officers down there to get them out and secure the gym.”
Gilbert then recommended that the board consider donating or at least leasing out the gym to the town of Parrish.
The old gym hasn’t been used by the schools for almost a decade, according to Adkins. Currently, the gym is stated to be in poor condition.
“A workable solution seems like to give them that gym so that they can refurbish it, and the kids could have a place to go play and continue on with that good program,” Adkins said.
The board will gather more information and look into handling the legalities concerning land and property issues. Adkins added, “Other than that, I have no problem with conveying the property to the town of Parrish.”
In other business:
• Sumiton Elementary/Middle School students Tanner Hester, Joseph Hicks and Caleb Danner — presidents of the Leader By Example program — led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.
• The board approved the minutes of the Dec. 12, 2013, meeting.
• Board members accepted the financial statement and bank reconciliation from November and December 2013.
• Adkins announced that January is National School Board Recognition month and thanked board members for all they have done by giving them certificates of appreciation. Adkins also noted that the Walker County School System did not make the Alabama Accountability Act list of failing schools.
• The board approved the regular and professional personnel lists, non-faculty (volunteer) coaches and several school trips.
• Members approved the budget amendment No. 1.
• Board members agreed to table a decision on the CNP Wellness Policy until the next scheduled meeting so that members will have more time to view the policy.
• Joel Hagood, director of curriculum and instruction, announced that the school system improved by 4 percent in graduation rate, from 77 percent to 81 percent.
After the meeting, board members held an executive session that lasted for more than an hour. No business was handled afterward. The next scheduled board meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014.