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Stafford High football practice situation explored


Football cleats might not touch Stafford High School’s baseball fields after all.

The school will be rebuilt on its current site in the next three years, and for at least two seasons, the football practice fields will be unavailable.

The Stafford School Board considered an option to use the baseball and softball fields for the football team’s practices.

Baseball and softball parents protested, saying that they often spend at least $20,000 to maintain those fields—above the cash the school system pours into the fields.

The School Board asked Scott Horan, superintendent of facilities, to look into another option for football practices over the next two years.

Tuesday night, Horan presented a plan to use the football field at the Gari Melchers Complex, which used to house Gayle Middle School. The county’s Parks and Recreation department now oversees those fields.

It would cost the school system about $120,000 in the next year to use that complex for football practice. Some $50,000 of that would pay for using a trailer as a locker room. Other costs include transportation, a part-time trainer and field maintenance.

Practicing off campus would delay football practice and would mean that the schools might have to add two additional activity bus routes, Horan said.

The complex is about four miles from Stafford High School, and players would get to and from practices using a combination of student drivers, parents and activity buses. About 140 students participate in Stafford High School football programs.

School Board members listened to the presentation but didn’t have much reaction. They will have to make a decision soon.

Construction crews will do most of the Stafford High School rebuild work from May 2013 through December 2015.

Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973