Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Comments at Press Conference for Hickman Regional Recreational & Event Complex

[I was invited to speak as a district representative at the press conference unveiling the JEO-developed Master Plan for a Hickman regional rec and event complex.  The complex is slated to include development of a drive-in movie theater complex, baseball diamonds, a skate park, picnic shelters, and a splash park.]

DATE: October 27, 2010

This is a neat day for Hickman and as Superintendent of the Norris District, it is great to have the opportunity for our district to have been invited to have a voice in the planning and development process. Our district of course is a direct beneficiary of the growth of the Hickman community; for as Hickman grows, the Norris population continues to grow. One of the key words in our district mission statement is “thrive” – and this rec and event complex is a means by which Hickman citizens and residents of the entire Norris district and surrounding areas can “thrive” through active and healthy lifestyles. We have emphasized families being active together and the importance of physical activity in a lifestyle that promotes academic achievement for kids. This community project will enhance existing trails networks and provide wonderful opportunities for families to flourish in this area.

As a district, we have already used the existing Hickman baseball diamond and tennis court and appreciate having the opportunity to do so. Having adopted these sports as official programs several years ago, we have benefited from that partnership with Trent and the Hickman Parks team. My observation is the intensiveness of use for ballfields and playing surfaces will only go up, because with the formal school adoption of program you tend to see increased participation and enthusiasm around those activities for youth development. We see the Hickman Regional Rec & Event Center Complex as a means of fostering growth because it will be that multi-stop, multi-sport destination that truly offers something for everyone. In fact, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I am not merely a school administrator but also the father of four active young boys ages 13 to 6 and they happen to either be baseball zealots or skateboarding junkies, so you can imagine their enthusiasm for seeing this project come to fruition, an enthusiasm many in this room and throughout the local area share.

We have had district personnel and board members who have served in an informal consultative role in this process. My predecessor Roy Baker, myself as our current sup, Greg Hardin our Athletic Director and Jim Craig as a Board member and trails advocate who is also an adventure racing enthusiast. We express our gratitude to the Hickman City office for involving us.

As a final and important point of clarification, the Norris District is not in any way a fiscal partner in the Hickman recreation and event complex development. Please note: No District resources or tax dollars will be allotted for this purpose! Furthermore, the Norris District is fortunate to have its own long-standing (since 1988) Educational Foundation and I’m always happy to accept donations for post-secondary scholarships and other support the Norris Foundation provides the students of our district. Thank you.