Southern Pine donates to Pollard-McCall field

Published 10:15 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thanks to a helping hand from Southern Pine Electric Cooperative, baseball and softball players at Pollard-McCall Junior High School will soon have a fresh field on which to play.

Jeff Kirkland, director of member services at Southern Pine, said a grant for the school will help make the field a reality.

“We are giving the school a matching grant that will see to it that the children have a nice field to play baseball and softball on,” Kirkland said. “We are happy to help make this happen for the players.”

The grant will allow the construction of the field as well as some amenities for the facility, Kirkland said.

“Through this grant and matching funds or in-kind work, there will be a new backstop and fence installed with the dirt and grass work taken care of as well,” he said.

Pollard-McCall Principal Hugh White said he is grateful for the help.

“We are really excited about this opportunity,” White said. “This isn’t just something good for our ball players, it’s a good thing for the community.”

White said the field will be used by boys and girls teams of T-ball, baseball and softball. The community will also be able to enjoy proposed complex at the school, he said.

“We want to be a place where the community can come to and be involved with activities,” White said. “We want everyone who supports this community and school to be able to participate in activities together.”

White said the construction of the field has already begun and should be ready for ball games next season.

“We are hoping to see everything completed by the spring,” White said. “We should be ready to play ball next season.”

Kirkland said he hoped to see more people step up to help with completion of what could be a larger complex for the school and community.

“This is just the beginning of what we’d like to see at the school,” Kirkland said. “Hopefully, some matching funds will come in and some other grants may be possible that would help pay for bleachers, a concession stand and even lighting.”

White said he saw the field construction, as the first part of what he also hopes will be a bigger project.

“This is phase one of a much bigger vision,” White said. “We certainly hope that we can continue this project to make this a complex that our students can enjoy for years to come.”

White said schools don’t usually see this kind of opportunity to improve or enhance school facilities, especially given the current economic conditions and proration faced by schools across the state.

“We are thrilled for this opportunity,” White said. “We want to be able to give our children the opportunity to participate at our school. This will help to build pride in our school and in our community. We are excited.”

The project, which has already seen some activity with dirt work for the field, will encompass a 275 ft. by 275 ft. area at the rear of the school campus. Work is expected to be completed by spring 2012.