It#039;s time to address athletic facilities

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2006

Now that all the &#8220I”s are dotted and the &#8220T”s crossed in hiring a new football coach, work can resume at Greenville High to rebuild its football program to the championship status it once had a decade ago.

The rebuilding doesn't start with the players and coaches, but with the building of the proper facilities needed for these athletes.

After a few conversations with Greenville Principal Dr. Kathy Murphy, she told me that the next step would be plans to improve the athletic facilities.

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Whether it means building new facilities or a remodeling of the present facilities, anything would be welcome by the athletes.

But an obvious question is why has it taken this long to address a problem that has been present since the school was built more than 10 years ago.

Having talked with coaches around the region, they have told me that they dread coming to Greenville to play a football game. Tiger Stadium, which is easily 50 years old, has been patched and repatched, and there are no facilities for opposing teams to dress much less enough bleachers for their fans.

In most cases coaches have told me that they are bussed to Greenville Middle School to dress or they come already dressed on the bus from their town.

If Greenville is to be among Class 5A's elite, it needs the best facilities in the state.

That doesn't mean just throw another band-aid on an eyesore for a stadium or just put an addition to a gym to expand a lockerroom.

From what I understand, a set of plans were drawn almost 10 years ago for a new stadium with a track around it next to the state of the art high school you see now that stands so proud along Interstate 65.

What happened to those plans, no one knows, but a new stadium should be built next to the high school as well as an athletic facility to take care of the needs of a championship football team.

Those who matter within the braintrust of the board of education decided to save some money almost 10 years ago by not building these facilities. Should the present board decide to build new facilities, the difference of the cost of those facilities 10 years ago to now would probably be the amount of what it would have cost to build those facilities then.

No matter what the cost, something needs to be done.

Greenville has its coach, now it's time to work up plans for a new stadium and athletic facilities.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. Call him at (334) 382-3111 ext. 122 or e-mail