School district OK’s county work for recreation complex

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, July 12, 2016

NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School District Board of Trustees voted Friday to allow Adams County crews to do some preliminary work off Liberty Road for the recreation complex.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors is seeking to have crews do some demolition and move a road closer to the Natchez Trace property in an effort to save the taxpayers some money before contractors are brought in to build the pool and multi-purpose fields complex, said supervisors’ President Mike Lazarus.

“We are trying to do as much work as we can,” he said. “This is entirely to save money.”

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Lazarus said he has not run the figures yet so he doesn’t know exactly how much it will save, but he said it’s a few things contractors won’t have to place in their bids for the project. Once everything is finalized, Lazarus said he’d be happy for the county to do the dirt work, as well, to help save more money.

“The county has agreed to spend up to $200,000 building this multi-purpose complex,” Lazarus said. “The county is committed to not spending more than $200,000.”

Interim Superintendent Fred Butcher said the county will be tearing down a concession stand that is currently only being used as storage for youth football equipment; five light posts; moving the girls softball fence; and taking the existing road and moving it approximately 25 feet so it is closer to the Natchez Trace property. Many of these steps will help accommodate a parking lot, Butcher said.

For the light posts, Butcher said it would not impact area residents as some of them aren’t even on board. One post is hanging down and could be a danger, he said.

“The area will be developed anyway,” Butcher said. “They will put up a new light system.”

The board of trustees vote was 4-0, with Benny Wright absent.

The estimate for the Natchez-Adams County Recreation Commission project is approximately $1.2 million, which includes a pool, shower, bathroom facility, press box and two multi-purpose fields.

The commission has signed a contract with the Metropolitan YMCAs of Mississippi to operate the pool and the broader Natchez-Adams County recreation program.

Lazarus said he’s looking forward to seeing area youth more involved in soccer.

“The problem with soccer in Natchez has been that we have not had the proper facilities and the people to run the leagues,” he said. “Now with the Y in, I think we can add soccer to the list of activities we provide for our kids.

“It’ll keep them outside, off the cell phone and not in front of the video games.”