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LeBrun pushes for upgrades to Brickyard

McDuffie County School Superintendent Jim LeBrun has rekindled discussion about improvements to The Brickyard.

Mr. LeBrun raised the topic at the school board meeting Jan. 13.

After a financial update on the 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that ends in 2012, Mr. LeBrun said upgrades to the athletic facility need to be accomplished.

"I have hopes that we can do some work at The Brickyard before the end of this current SPLOST," he told the board.

"I would like to be able to replace the bleachers."

He said the project would demonstrate good faith toward the voters who approved the financing measure.

He said the current bleachers are made of steel, not aluminum, so there is an issue of longevity.

Replacing the bleachers would require further study and school board action, and an architect would have to be designated.

Hinting at a possible appeal for continuation of the local tax, Mr. LeBrun said, "No matter what we do, a new Norris (Elementary School) will have to come out of a new SPLOST -- SPLOST 5."

Comptroller Tom Smalley presented a SPLOST IV cash flow report that showed $1,470,422 on hand as of Dec. 31. Estimated collections are $295,854 each month through April. The May bond payment of $2,460,983 is expected to reduce the balance to $192,855.

Funds from SPLOST IV, approved by voters in 2006. were combined with $7 million from SPLOST III to complete the new junior high school. Groundbreaking was held in December 2006.

The current tax also was approved for:

- construction of a new Norris Elementary School;

- major improvements to The Brickyard;

- new school buses;

- renovations at other school facilities;

- music, vocational and athletic equipment;

- safety and security equipment;

- school furnishings and textbooks;

- and systemwide technology upgrades.

In a related matter, board member Bob Smith asked about the width of the football sidelines. Mr. LeBrun said the sidelines are tight on the home side but wide enough on the visitor side. He said that the schools' waiver on sidelines width has expired but that adjustments have brought The Brickyard into compliance.

"We're legal, but we're crowded," he said.

Web posted on Thursday, January 20, 2011

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