Bath County High School One Step Closer To A New Softball Field
Warm Springs, Va – Bath County High School is one step closer to getting a new softball field and a new water drainage system with it. The Bath School Board approved the project at its close out meeting on Thursday morning.
All board members were in support of the new softball field, but were divided on the drainage proposal. The vote was 3 to 2, with board members Eddie Ryder and Dreama Burns voting against the project. Burns felt the board should get some acknowledgment from land owners downstream showing support for the project in order to give some protection to the school board.
Ryder said that installing a pipe changes the drainage and the school system has to take responsibility for that. He felt the board should follow attorney Chris Singleton’s suggestion to get easements from the four downstream land owners to relieve the school system of any liability. He said the school system needs to be a good neighbor but it also needs to protect itself.
School Board member Barbara Waldeck said Thursday that the board is responsible for the high school property and that of the immediate adjoining landowner, Faith Covenant Family Church. She said water from the school would be a part of what drains down the hill, but the school is not the total responsible party. She said the board needed to take action with the church and there is an ethical responsibility if not a legal one. As part of Waldeck’s motion to approve the project, the downstream landowners will be informed about the project.
The relocation of the softball field was placed on the capital improvement plan a couple of years ago. The Booster Club recently suggested installing drainage pipes when the field is built to relieve the water runoff from the high school retention pond that is damaging Faith Covenant Family Church property next door. To solve the water runoff issue, a pipe will be installed out of the pond at the school, where it will run through the new field and down to a drainage area along Route 220.
The new field will be near the turn at the south end of the high school. The Athletic Boosters say there’s a safety issue now when baseball and softball games are going on at the same time, since the two fields are so close. The Athletic Boosters needed approval from the school board on this project before requesting the money for it from the Board of Supervisors. The project will cost about $50,000.
Athletic Booster Club members have spoken with two of the four downstream landowners, who indicated support for the project. The club has contractors ready to start work, and many are donating time and use of equipment.
In other action at the close out meeting, the board authorized the Superintendent Sue Hirsh to place under contract a science teacher and a computer lab manager at Valley Elementary, a paraprofessional in special education at Millboro Elementary and a secretary. And the board also approved the appointment of Justin Broughman as a history/social sciences teacher at the High School.