Ferriday facilities need work

Published 12:42 am Friday, August 10, 2018

NATCHEZ — Ferriday schools are in much need of repairs and maintenance work, Concordia Parish School Board president Raymond Riley Sr. said Thursday night during a regular board meeting.

“Vidalia High School and Ferriday High School football fields — we talked about getting them reworked,” Riley said during a building and grounds committee report.

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Leveling and maintenance work done over the summer on the Ferriday field was unsatisfactory, Riley said.

“I went to Ferriday High School and the field looked horrible,” Riley said.

He said coaches were very satisfied with the work on Vidalia High School’s field, but Ferriday High School’s field was covered in sand without a working irrigation system. Riley said he told Shirley and Tom O’Neal, the district financial director, not to pay the man that worked on the field until the job is finished correctly.

Additionally, Riley said walls in classrooms at Ferriday High School have peeling paint and the press box at the football stadium is rocking in the air while ceilings at Ferriday Junior High School have leaks and water is backed up in the junior high weight room.

“I’m not the director of finance,” Riley said, “but I don’t believe in putting Band-Aids on old wounds. … It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Board member Fred Butcher asked how the schools came to have so many problems at the same time.

“If the schools are in this bad of shape, where are the principals at?” Butcher said. “It’s the principal’s responsibility to keep those buildings up. Those buildings should have been walked and materials requested … back in March or April.”

Riley said the building and grounds committee is looking into hiring a carpenter and a painter to fix the current issues as the budget has room to do so.

In other news the school board:

* Received bids for two new gas floor model ovens, steamers and braising pans that are needed at Ferriday Schools to replace systems that are old or no longer functional. The board also received bids for paper, cleaning and janitorial supplies for the district. Board members voted to take all of the bids under advisement.

* Voted to go into executive session to discuss personnel at Ferriday Schools. The vote passed 8-1 with school board member Ricky Raven casting the dissenting vote.

* Unanimously approved the minutes for the July 12 meeting.

* At Butcher’s request added an agenda item to the next board meeting requesting a discussion of adding a job description for two new hires that will serve as academic coaches at elementary and high schools with fewer certified teachers. The motion passed unanimously.