The Gulf County School Board last week took possession from the city of Port St. Joe of Lamar Faison Fields, including the soccer complex and tennis courts.
The city and School Board have been discussing the exchange for several months, but there were several issues requiring resolution.
One was receiving an okay from the St. Joe Company, which had donated the land for the recreational complex.
Second, the school district had to ensure that the complex remained available for public use as state parks and recreation grant funds had been used to build the complex.
From the city’s standpoint, deeding over the complex was about cost-savings. The city will save more than $100,000 required annually for upkeep and maintenance to the fields and tennis courts.
The city, and district staff agreed, that the district was better suited to maintain the soccer fields at the Lamar Faison complex as part of its upkeep of other sports fields.
For the school district, it was an opportunity to expand the Port St. Joe Elementary School campus to take more control over parking and also maintenance of land between the school and Lamar Faison Fields.
The School Board effectively owns all land surrounding the complex.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton. “This gives us a chance to further beautify our campus on the south end (closest to Madison Avenue) and on the north end is allows us to control and add to the parking.
“This let’s us control more property that is all part of one campus.”
The city and district will share a lawnmower the city has used to maintain the fields. The district takes on no additional insurance liability.
“The community and especially the soccer community should be pleased,” Norton said. “Soccer is part of the now and part of the future.”
Female physical ed teacher in Wewahitchka
At the request of the principal, Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School will advertise for a female physical education teacher.
The school has not had a female instructor in several years and Debbie Baxley requested the new hire to ensure safety for girls in the school.
Norton noted that the district hoped to tick off several needs for female coaches – for softball and girls’ basketball – with the hire.
Deborah Crosby, Director of Special Services, said registration for voluntary pre-K for the coming school year was open on a first-come, first-served basis.
She said the district had 40 slots in the south end of the county; 20 in the north end.
A child must be 4-years-old by Sept. 1 and have proof of Florida residence to register.
For more information contact Crosby at 229-6940.
Lions Club donations
The Lions Club donated $500 to each of the county’s two football programs, with Port St. Joe coach Chuck Gannon and Wewahitchka coach Dennis Kizziah on hand to receive the donations.