Board of Education considers adding athletic programs

Two at SHS, two at middle schools

By Amber Hatten -

LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Schools Board of Education is looking into adding athletic programs at Scotland High School and Carver and Spring Hill middle schools.

Jay Toland, chief finance officer, presented the board with the possibility of adding swimming and bowling to the line-up of athletic programs at the high school to go along with adding track and field and wrestling at the middle school level.

The rough cost to add all four programs would be around $16,000, which Toland emphasized was just an estimate because the actual amount will depend on the level of interest in the sport, which will dictate the number of uniforms that need to be purchased and the number of head coaches.

Swimming was the most expensive sport that was proposed at $6,600 — a sport that the Southeastern conference will be adding next year. That amount would allow the team to have eight meets, four home and four away, 30 uniforms, officials, transportation and two head coaches, a men’s and women’s coach. The cost also factors in renting out the pool at St. Andrews for home meets.

“I think this is really the highest the budget could go for swimming, and depending on the refresh rate of the uniforms this would be on a yearly basis,” said Toland.

Bowling was the next high school sport that could be added at a proposed cost of $3,200 — which is contingent on whether or not the bowling alley in Laurinburg is actually open or not. The price includes six matches, uniforms, alley rental, transportation and two head coaches.

“This again is budgeted for two teams, but we might be able to research and find out if it could be a co-ed team,” said Toland.

Board members asked if St. Andrews still had a bowling alley, but it was determined that it had closed several years ago. the other options for home meets that was proposed was the bowling alley in Rockingham.

Adding a middle school wrestling team, one team representing both middle schools, at a cost of $2,000 per year — if the extra wrestling mat at the high school can be used. If the extra mat at Scotland High School can’t be used then the cost to start the wrestling program at the middle school level wold be $11,000 because a used mat costs around $7,000.

Each middle school could be getting a track team, at a cost of $2,000 per school — depending on the level of interest. The team’s home meets would be held at the high school track.

The board unanimously agreed to have Toland continue to look into the new programs and come back with a more concrete plan and funding for their next board meeting on March 13.

“There is no way the middle school or high school could fund these additional programs with their current athletic budgets, so we would need to find budget options, which we’ll bring to you,” said Toland.

Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.
Two at SHS, two at middle schools

By Amber Hatten

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