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The Snoop 9.5.2013

The renovated Ava R-1 football and track facility – Harlan Stadium and Silvey Field – will have its official opening this Friday night when the Ava Bears host the Rogersville Wildcats in varsity football action. But the facility actually had its inauguration Tuesday night when the Ava Junior Varsity  Bears took on Mtn. Grove in sub-varsity action.
It was good to host a preliminary event prior to the varsity action, so those involved – from administration to maintenance personnel – could “get their feet wet” so to speak and get a feel for how it’s going to be when the big crowds arrive.
Certainly there are some things that will need to be tweaked a little, and I, along with 500 or so other people have ideas about what could have been done differently. But the final word is, we have a nice facility that we can be proud of, and it was a long time coming. Absolutely no one would want to go back to what we had before.
As for suggesting things that could or should have been done differently, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Sure, there are things that could have been added, and there are changes all of us would make, if money were no object – but it always is.
The school board and administration are to be commended for seeking out and finding a way to make these improvements as responsibly and economically as possible with virtually no help from the community. Sure, we all pay taxes that help fund the school, but from what I have witnessed as I visit the various schools where we play ball, every stadium that has been renovated – and all are ahead of us – credits one or more businesses, a wealthy individual donor, or their booster club (the people of the community and the fans) for contributing significantly to their facility upgrades. That did not happen here. So the board did the best they could with what they had to work with.
The basic structure is finished, and it is beautiful. We should all be proud of what has been accomplished. It’s too bad the all-weather track could not be eight lanes rather than six, so we could host district track meets. And this fan is disappointed that the originally-planned new dressing rooms could not be done, to accommodate not only football, but also baseball and softball – and the officials who work those games. With the facilities our football officials have to dress in, it’s a wonder we don’t get a “personal foul” call every week before the game begins.
At the same time, the board was wise to hold the line and not overextend itself (the taxpayers) when the construction bids came in higher than anticipated.
Ye olde Snoop has said it before, and it bears repeating: If we are going to have the services, whether it be county roads, better classrooms for our children, or adequate jail facilities, we have to be willing to pay the bill.
If you haven’t seen the renovated football stadium, you need to come out Friday night and take a look. Right now there is dirt where grass will eventually grow and, hopefully, more sidewalks will be added around the perimeter of the stadium. But at least now, more than one person can go to the restroom at a time and you don’t fee like you need to spray down with Lysol when you exit.
I don’t know what they did with the box that was in the old men’s toilet. Maybe one of the board members kept it as a souvenir.