School board aims to fix softball field

The Fayette County Board of Education Monday night took the first step toward fixing long-running problems at the Henry Clay High School girls' softball field.

Board members unanimously agreed to seek a preliminary OK for the project from the state Department of Education, which would allow planning for the repairs to begin.

Actual work wouldn't begin until after the softball season next spring.

Problems with settling soil have plagued the ball field since shortly after it was completed in 2002. Sinking soil levels have damaged a retaining wall and a press box and caused concrete slabs to crack.

Mary Wright, the school system's chief operating officer, told board members that officials will make sure the field and press box are safe for use before the softball season starts next year. If the press box is not safe for use, alternative press and scoring facilities will be provided on the field, she said.

The board also agreed to seek preliminary state approval for renovations to five schools next year, as a part of the system's facilities plan.

The schools and projected costs are: Arlington Elementary, $13.2 million; Cassidy Elementary, $13.8 million; Russell Cave Elementary, $6.9 million; Bryan Station Middle, $16.9 million; and Leestown Middle, $18.2 million.

Wright noted that the real costs won't be known until the projects are put out for bid in January. Renovation work could start by the end of the school year, she said.