When they return to home games this season, Thomson Bulldog football fans will appreciate an addition and renovation on the Brickyard concession stand and women's restroom that was completed recently.
And another convenience is approved and in the works.
At their regular meeting last Thursday, the school board approved a lease for the lot on the corner of Lee Street and Main Street to be used for parking during Brickyard events.
"We've got a lot of folks coming into our town to watch football games, and so that will be a nice place that we can park some cars there," Superintendent Mark Petersen said.
Although the price was no problem - Dr. Petersen said property owner, Mike Frazier, agreed to lease the land for $1 per year - the board had other expenses to consider. The 2.97-acre lot is scattered with large stumps left over from numerous trees felled by the tornado that hit Thomson last February. The school system will have to pay for the stump removal and leveling to make the land suitable for parking vehicles.
"I'm experienced after having 22 stumps removed from my yard, so I know it's not cheap," Board Vice-Chair Georgia Hobbs said during the discussion.
Jim Franklin, the assistant superintendent in administrative services, said officials estimated the cost of the work to be around $7,000. One condition of the lease is if the land is sold before a period of five years, the Frazier family will reimburse the money to the school system on a pro-rated daily basis, beginning at $7,000 and decreasing to zero dollars after five years. Dr. Franklin said if the work costs more than $7,000, he will bring the matter back to the board.
Dr. Petersen said the situation will help both parties involved because the land will be cleared for Mr. Frazier to sell in the future, but the school system will get to use it for several years before that happens.
"I think it's fair," Dr. Petersen said. "We'll clean it up and it'll stop it from being an eyesore. ... So, I think it's a win-win. It'll be good for us."
As for complete renovations of the Brickyard, Dr. Petersen asks for patience.
"Lots of folks are getting antsy about the Brickyard renovations," he said. "But we need to remind them that we don't see the money from SPLOST IV until March 2008."