Cleburne County school official says expensive repairs prevent district from hosting Special Olympics
by Laura Camper
news@cleburnenews.com
Nov 04, 2013 | 3708 views |  0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cleburne County School Superintendent Claire Dryden on Monday told local Special Olympics organizers that the district cannot afford the track repairs needed to host the event.

At their meeting, the Cleburne County Board of Education members received a request from representatives of The Arc of Calhoun and Cleburne Counties to consider hosting the competition at its Heflin track.

Karen Davis, executive director of The Arc, told the board members the organization would like to be more active in Cleburne County.

The Arc provides support groups for parents, family assistance, summer camps for children and adults and other activities, she said. Special Olympics is one of those activities, Davis said.

Pati Tiller, outreach coordinator for The Arc, said it doesn’t have to be a regulation track, but the school system’s course needs some work before it could host the event.

“We looked at the track and there are some issues,” Davis said.

Dryden said a contractor estimated the improvements would cost more than $300,000. She thought the system would be able to pave over the existing asphalt, but the contractor told her that isn’t possible, Dryden said.

“It can’t just be capped,” Dryden said. “It’s got to be dug up and removed.”

She got an estimate from the contractor to remove the asphalt, and it would cost $100,000, Dryden said. Repaving would cost more than $200,000, she said.

“It’s out of our park,” Dryden said. “As much as we would love to have it.”

Davis also asked the board members if they would be willing to send the students to the organization’s annual Christmas parties for elementary through high school students.

“I assure you that if you will let them come to our Christmas parties, they will have fun; they will be well taken care of,” Davis said.

Dryden said the school system would be willing. The teachers just need to request the field trips.

The representatives from the organization also asked the board to notify families with special education students that The Arc would like to form a parent support group in Cleburne County.

In other business the board members:

— Approved a $1,032 coaching supplement for Joel Pittsley, head junior-high basketball coach at Cleburne County High School.

— Approved a policy on the use of digital devices during a secure test.

— Elected Jerry Cash as the new chairman of the board and Hope Lee as the vice chair.

— Heard from system Chief Finance Officer Melissa Lumpkin that the school system ended the fiscal year with $2.4 million in the general fund and more than $1 million in the sales tax fund.

The next board meeting will be Dec. 2 at Pleasant Grove Elementary.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.

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