R-V board makes trap team decision

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Southwest R-V School Board selected a practice location for the district trap team at its regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 9.

Superintendent Doug Lawyer presented the board with three trap team practice field options.

"Option one, we could continue to lease property from Jeff and Malinda Cockrum," said Lawyer. "Option two, we could lease property from Gary Fields north of town. I have a few issues with this option.

"I like the idea of the team having its own equipment and the flexibility it would have in setting practice times using the Fields' property," said Lawyer. "The neighbors are close though. We did a shooting test, but it will be different during the summer when the windows are open."

Lawyer offered the board a third option, which would allow the trap team to purchase a new property to hold practices on.

"I do not recommend option three at this time," said Lawyer. "I recommend the board make a decision on this issue tonight by deciding between the Cockrum and Fields' properties."

The Cockrums will charge the Southwest trap team $1 per year to lease their property. Under this contract, the property owner will be responsible for utility costs, the trap team will be liable for repairing equipment owned by the property owner and the team will receive limited practice time on weekends.

The Cockrum contract, which can be canceled with a 30-day notice, will charge the team $2.50 per round for targets.

Fields will charge the team a rental fee of $50 for five years to lease property. Under the Fields' contract, the trap team will also be charged utility costs but shooting equipment will be owned by the school and the team will have no limits on weekend practices. The team will be charged $2 per round for targets.

Both contracts stipulate that the school is liable for the maintenance and upkeep of the property and a coach must be present during all practices.

"This is a tough decision," said Lawyer. "The main thing that I have heard is that the kids want to shoot and they don't care where they shoot at."

Board members Robert Catron, Robert Shockley and Jane Hobbs stated that they would like to see the team acquire its own equipment and liked the fact that weekend practices would not be limited on the Fields' property.

"For the sake of having a facility in place where the kids can practice now, I choose the Cockrum property," said board member Judy Friend. "I would like to look at something more permanent in the future."

"I'm afraid the kids will be without a place to practice if we go with the Fields' property," said board member Janet Ballard. "I just worry that the booster club will not get the grant to pay for new equipment and the Fields' property will not be set up in time for the kids to shoot."

If the property is not set up in time to start practices, the team will be able to find an alternative location to practice at, said Shockley.

"We've never told the trap team where to shoot before," said Shockley. "I think there will be problems if we start telling them where to shoot now."

"I don't know why we are bothering to vote on this," said Ballard. "If we don't vote for what they've been in our face screaming at us about, they won't do it anyway."

Danny Dalton, board president, said he was not against the team having its own practice property, but felt that the practices should stay on the Cockrum property until funding is in place for new equipment and another location is available.

Asked for his opinion, Lawyer recommended the board select the Fields' lease.

"I would recommend giving the coaches the flexibility," said Lawyer. "I think whatever you do, you should look for a place for a permanent practice location. I think this is just a temporary solution."

The board voted four-to-three to approve a practice location lease agreement with Jeff and Malinda Cockrum. Dalton, Ballard, Friend and Angie Corn voted for the agreement, and Catron, Shockley and Hobbs voted against it.

In other business, the Southwest R-V School Board:

• Approved a senior class graduation trip to San Antonio, Texas, April 26 through April 29.

• Approved plans for the 2007 senior class composite portraits.

• Approved a proposal allowing the junior class to host prom at Coconuts Cafe, south of Cassville.

• Discussed future capital improvement plans.

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