BHS gets gift for fieldhouse

Published 8:59 pm Monday, March 9, 2009

State Sen. Wendell Mitchell presented Billingsley School officials with $70,000 for completion of a multi-purpose athletic facility at the school last night at a Parent-Teacher Organization meeting .

The 110-foot-by-60-foot facility will serve as a field house and will feature a locker room, showers, bathroom, washroom, coaches’ offices, coaches’ locker room, training room with a whirlpool and two tape tables, and a large weight room to be used by all athletes.

“Each year when we build the state budget, we try to identify areas in our districts that could use some extra help,” said Mitchell, a Democrat whose 30th District includes Autauga, Butler, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes and Pike counties. “I look at my district and can basically help with one project a year.

“They haven’t had any new facilities there in a long time, and rural areas struggle more than big cities. I just think that helping them is my job. If they don’t get help from me, who will they get it from?”

Work on the structure, which is adjacent to the school and is planned to be part of the relocation of all athletic facilities to Billingsley’s newer campus, began in November 2008, but a change in building codes meant the price of the project increased by tens of thousands of dollars, LeSueuer said. Initial funding came from the same Mims family that the football field is named after.

LeSueur said tentative plans are for the facility to be in use by June.

“It’s going to mean that our athletes aren’t going to have to load up on a bus and travel a fourth of a mile and across railroad tracks to work out,” LeSueur said. “It’s going to make things a lot easier for us.”