Board votes to seek fix for soccer field

By Jeff Whitten

The McNairy County Board of Education voted to ask the contractor for the soccer field at Selmer Middle School to come back and fix the drainage problems with the field that were reported in an earlier article in the Independent Appeal.

At its meeting Thursday, the board voted to ask Chuck Hamm to crown the field. This means to make the field higher in the center so water will drain off the field quicker.

When it comes a big rain, the field becomes flooded, causing disruption to the schedule and causing overuse once the field dries, according to Selmer Unified Soccer coach Laurence Enticott and Selmer United assistant coach Jeff Droke.

“It should have been done in the first place,” said school board chairman Larry Smith, in making the motion.

The motion by Smith requested Director of Schools Charlie Miskelly to contact him “to see that this is taken care of.”

Smith said that this would involve bringing some more dirt in and re-sodding the field.

In a later conversation, Chuck Hamm said he did not do the dirt work, but only the irrigation. He said Casey Pettigrew did the dirt work.

Hamm said that Pettigrew was a subcontractor under Hamm’s contract.

Calls to Pettigrew were not answered.

“We did exactly what they wanted and everybody was happy at the end. They wanted something that was playable and as cheap as they could get out. We lost money on that job.”

As Hamm remembers the specifications for the field, they did not call for the field to be crowned. Instead, he said they called for at least a one degree slope.

Hamm said he had requested a copy of the contract from Miskelly.

In a conversation Tuesday, Miskelly said he had not yet found the contract.

Hamm said there is a drain line along the sidelines and there are seven drain line in each irrigator running across the field.

He attributes some of the problems with the field to a lack of maintenance.

“It wouldn’t take much maintenance for that to be a super field,” he said.

Hamm clarified that the $31,500 reported earlier in the Independent Appeal included the lights and that the field only cost $25,000.

He also said that crowning the field would make things worse by causing the water on the field to back up on one side.

Hamm said that would cause a “semi-pond” on one side of the field.

In a later interview, Smith said, “There’s got to be a way to run water away from this site.”

Hamm said that he did not know how he would respond to the letter from the school board when it arrived.

The Certified Personnel Report revealed that Miskelly has reappointed all of the principals for the 2010-2011 school year. They are: Danny Combs, Adamsville Elementary; Greg Martin, Adamsville Junior/Senior School; Terry Moore, Bethel Springs Elementary; Cecil  Stroup, McNairy Central High School; Lynda Walters, Michie Elementary School; Rusty Petty, Ramer Elementary School; Carolyn Giesler, Selmer Elementary School; Brenda Armstrong, Selmer Middle School and Stephanie Brown, Alternative School.