Carter County School Board approves lighting for Hampton baseball field

Published 4:35 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

by Larry N. Souders

Like their Cubbie brothers of Wrigley Field in Chicago, this spring the Bulldogs of Hampton will get to declare “Let there be light” as for the first time in school history Scotty Bunton Field will have the ability to host night baseball.

In it’s regularly called October school board meeting the Carter County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the purchase of up to eight concrete 80-foot tall light poles for the baseball field at Hampton High School. The new lights will allow the Bulldogs to start their games a later in the afternoon or to complete extra-inning games played on campus.

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“First of all I want to thank our Diamond Club president, Travis Royston, for his diligence in working on this project for the past couple of year, “ said Hampton head coach Nicholas Perkins. “I also want to thank Dr. (Kevin) Ward and the school board members. This is for the kids and baseball players at Hampton Elementary and Hampton High School. They are going to have their opportunities and experience enhanced greatly.”

The Board agreed to spend $21,000 for the purchase and transportation of the poles to the school. A second motion added an additional $11,900 to have the poles set up when they were delivered to the school. By having the poles set when they were delivered the system would be saving money by not having to have cranes return at a later date to do the installation.

Principal Bradley and Bulldog baseball coach Perkins said that the poles would come complete with both the braces and the lights already on the poles. Travis Royston, the president of the Bulldogs Baseball Boosters Club said that they have held and were holding many different fundraisers to help offset the cost of the wiring of the lights. Both Perkins and Bradley said that they were confident the lights would be ready for the Bulldogs upcoming season.

The meeting opened with a number of different awards being presented to students including the recognition of 17 members of the Unaka High School Lady Rangers Softball Team for making the state tournament. Also recognized were five students from the Hampton High School Career Technical Education program, five student winners from the Appalachian State Fair. The county also recognized Nathaniel Hughes for his donation to the Carter County Literacy Bus and the Carter County Car Club while also recognizing the Lions Club for their contributions to the county’s Back to School Bash.

The County School Board and Hampton High School Principal Jeff Bradley thanked Ron Scott for making a $ 30,000 donation to the Bulldogs soccer program. Bradley said after the meeting that the funds would go to do upgrades to the school’s football practice field to turn it into a proper soccer pitch which will include the purchase of portable aluminum stands, a new scoreboard, fencing, players’ benches, and new goals.

Earlier the Board agreed to adopt the evening’s agenda, and they also approved the Consent Agenda with an addendum added to it. Specifically, three additional field trips, two by Unaka High School and one for Hampton Elementary were approved by voice vote.

The Attendance Report was also adopted. The report showed that enrollment within the county had decreased by a total of 72 students this school year. Enrollment at the end of the May this year was 5,218 students, with the current enrollment being 5146 at the end of September. There was an average absentee rate of 5.1% system-wide so far this school year.

Other committee reports included a discussion of a $109,000 technology fund to purchase upgraded HD CCTV cameras and monitors for the school system.

There will be no County School Board meeting in November as the Board will be attending it’s Annual Convention and Conference. The Board will hold a Board Training Day on November 10 from 8 a.m. til 3:30 p.m to discuss a five-year plan for the school system. The meeting will be held at the Board’s training center on Stateline Road.

There will also be a workshop session held on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. and the next scheduled meeting for the School Board will be Dec, 20 at 4 p.m. held in the Board Room of the Central Office.