Leader Blues

Friday, August 18, 2006

SPORTS >>Jacksonville’s upgrades numerous

IN SHORT: The athletic facilities at JHS have been drastically improved during the recent off season.

By RAY KING
Leader sports editor

Renovations of all of Jacksonville High School’s athletic facilities have been an ongoing, and rigorous process over the last few months under the direction of athletic coordinator Jerry Wilson.

Most recently, Jacksonville just got word that it has been approved by the Pulaski County Special School Dis-trict to receive new bleachers in the gymnasium. The JHS gym seats have been a danger for the past several years, and the district released a memo earlier this week stating that they, as well as Mills’ bleachers, have become a potential liability.

The rest of the improvements, however, have been a direct result of the efforts put forth by Wilson, Jacksonville coaches, parents and boosters of the program. And the process still isn’t complete.

“We’re working on a five-year plan to continue improving the facilities here,” Wilson said. “We take a lot of pride in what’s already been accomplished, and it helps the athletes take pride in what they have.”

Lots of dollars has been spent on paint, and lots of volunteer man-hours have been spent painting on the Jacksonville campus.

The bleachers on the home and visitors side of Jan Crow Stadium have been painted, as well as the press box and ticket booths on both sides.

The ticket booth on the visitors side is itself an upgrade. It provides visiting fans a much more convenient entrance and a much shorter walk to their seats.

Visitors will have to park in the old Wal-Mart parking lot, and enter through the gate on the visitors side.

The restrooms have also been upgraded on both sides as well. Plumbing has been fixed and more privacy walls have been added on the mens restrooms.

Although it hasn’t arrived, a new jumbotron scoreboard has been ordered and is expected to be on display by the first home game on Sept. 1.

The inside of the press box has been remodeled, including a new air conditioner and blinds in the windows.
Tridents have been painted along Linda Lane leading into the parking lot of the school and football stadium, and the end zones will be painted this season.

Platinum members of the booster club will have a tent set up before home games for tailgating on game days.
Wilson also plans to open the stadium up to the public for walking and running on the track, and adds that security cameras have been added as a precautionary measure for keeping the facility open.

The workout facility, known by coaches and players as the green room, has new weights that were bought by the booster club, and also has its own fresh coat of interior paint.

The middle school is also getting a new field house.

Wilson says all the improvements so far and future up-grades are possible because of the resolve of everyone involved.
“We’re not going to complain about what we don’t have,” Wilson said. “We’re going to work to make improvements to what we do have.”