What is best use of bean field?

Published 12:17 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Natchez, Adams County and school board officials need to publicly meet to discuss plans for the bean field site.

For many years the large site, adjacent to Natchez High School and across from Walmart, has been discussed as a potential site for a new recreation complex.

The site is uniquely positioned at the intersection of two very public thoroughfares, making it ideal for a recreation facility that could host tournaments attracting visitors from around the South.

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Recently leaders at the Natchez-Adams School District have suggested they might like to build a new high school — if funds and public support can be found for the project — on the bean field.

That plan would eliminate the potential for the site as a recreation complex, a thought that worries at least some city and county leaders who have worked hard to hammer out a plan for recreation.

We urge the three groups to meet, put their heads together and seek public input on the use of the land.

We agree with school board members who say the time to replace the public school buildings is long overdue. However, we do not think — at least with what we know at the moment — that the bean field site is the best location for a new school.

Having the high school located in such a public place poses great risks for all. From a security standpoint, having a very public facility, open on all sides is worry.

Natchez-Adams County is blessed with a great deal of open land still available for such developments. The question leaders must ask is: What is the highest and best use of the land? Recreation complex or high school building?

The only way to decide is to start a public discussion. We hope that happens soon.