The Scott County Board of Education voted to use temporary lights on Sutton Field for the upcoming baseball season rather than accept a proposal from the Scott County Fiscal Court for permanent lighting.

The temporary lights will cost $40,700 in rent annually. The fiscal court had previously agreed to install lights on the field at a total cost of $300,000 if the school board would agree to pay $50,000 annually for the use of the field. Sutton Field is owned by the county and managed by the Georgetown/Scott County Parks and Recreation Department. 

Scott County High School plays baseball on the field, and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has warned the existing lights are inadequate and must be replaced before it will sanction games this upcoming season. An attorney told school board members it was illegal to improve the field because it was not owned by the school system, but Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub pointed out several instances in the area with similar circumstances.

Concerns about the temporary lights were raised including noise and safety during high winds. The school system’s energy consultant, Jim McClanahan, pleaded against the temporary lights.

“They’re going to be noisy and unsafe,” said McClanahan. The smart thing to do would be to do it right the first time and go ahead and install the permanent lights.” 

The vote to use temporary lights was 4-1 with Susan Duncan opposing the measure. Kevin Kidwell, Stephanie Powers, Diana Brooker and JoAnna Fryman voted in favor of the temporary lights.

Parents asked the school board to consider moving the 2020 Scott County High School graduation from its gymnasium to another location due to limited seating. Each student receives only six tickets, which is insufficient for some families, said Melinda Breadwood.

“The number of tickets available for my family will require me to leave out some of our family members,”  said Breadwood. 

“We consider this graduation to be a major life event and we all want to be there to celebrate my son’s achievement.” 

The level of attention the lack of tickets is receiving from the school and the school board is disappointing, she said.

“This group of people have just completed a very meticulous, and excellent plan to build a $90 million school so I know you are capable of helping to resolve this problem,” said Breadwood. 

Board member Diana Brooker assured Breadwood the board would respond to her concerns.  

In other action: 

— Representatives from Clotfelter-Samokar architectural firm reported updates to the various district-wide construction projects. The auditorium and welding shop are approaching completion. The board discussed sod grass installation on the ball fields and the weather variables associated with that application. Every effort will be made to lay the sod before Christmas. 

— Eastern Elementary School parent Michelle Morgan addressed the board asking for more and sooner screenings of all students for potential learning challenges. 

— The board heard a report from teachers participating in PLACE, (Partners for Learning Achievement and Classroom Education), a program that teaches teachers new strategies to apply to language as a second language students.

— A group of students from the Migrant Education Program were on hand to thank the board for their recent trip to Washington, D.C. Program director Dr. Molly McComas reported the trip was a great success and the students appreciated the opportunity to travel to the nations capitol.

 

Jackie Anders can be reached at janders@news-graphic.com.

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