Pinson councilman to JeffCo BOE: ‘We’re here to fight for our kids’
By Gary Lloyd
HOMEWOOD — Pinson City Councilman Joe Cochran came to heighten awareness.
Cochran, along with Pinson Mayor Hoyt Sanders, sat in on the June 5 Jefferson County Board of Education meeting in Homewood, to hear about plans for the repairing of the football field at Willie Adams Stadium on the Pinson Valley High School campus.
Cochran, serving his fourth term on the Pinson City Council and the executive director of the Pinson Education Foundation, used the platform to address the board about conditions at the high school, not just on the football field.
He said some things in the school — such as common areas and bathrooms — need “immediate attention.” He said there are “many facility needs” at Pinson Valley High School, needs he’d like the board of education to take a look at.
“We’re here to fight for our kids,” Cochran said.
Cochran noted that he has volunteered with the softball program for seven years, he and Sanders and other Pinson City Council members help with public safety after sporting events, and the city council routinely allocates money to schools.
“We are very involved in our schools,” he said.
Cochran admitted that he spoke “vigorously” about the school’s needs at a May city council meeting, in which several parents spoke about the deteriorating conditions of the football field at Willie Adams Stadium. The football team currently practices at the field behind the Old Rock School.
“(Residents) may feel disappointed that we can’t do a project this year, and perhaps it will be next year, but they want to know that this council and this mayor is here to fight for them,” Cochran said in May. “(We will) go to the board of education and say, ‘You know what, we’re sick and tired of seeing everybody else around us having everything brought to them, having Taj Mahals built, and all these wonderful facilities built, while Pinson sits in squalor.’ They want to know that we’re with them.”
The Jefferson County Board of Education at the June 5 meeting awarded a contract to civil engineering firm LBYD to assess the situation with the current football field and plan for a practice field.
The city council has discussed putting artificial turf on the field, with the cost to be split between the city and the board of education in return for increased access for youth sports programs, similar to an agreement at Clay-Chalkville High School that was approved earlier this month.
“We do need it done before the fall,” Sanders told the board
Jefferson County Schools Interim Superintendent Bobby Neighbors said a solution will be “expedited,” probably in the next few weeks. Pinson Valley’s first home football game is Aug. 29 against Oneonta.
“That’s our goal, to get that done,” Neighbors said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.