The good news from the desk of Payson School Superintendent Herb Weissenfels is that the stadium committee is ready to move forward with its improvement plans.
At the committee's next meeting, Feb. 16, a proposed drawing for a new football stadium and track and field facility will be presented. According to Weissenfels, after the committee reviews the plans, members will have the opportunity to suggest changes.
When the committee reaches a consensus, the next step is for the group to develop a "phase plan" for recommendation to the district governing board.
The goal is to have a phase-one proposal ready to submit to the school board at the April 10 meeting. If all goes well, work can begin when school is out.
At the upcoming committee meeting, the group will also explore ways to secure additional funding for the improvement projects.
Weissenfels said he wished to express his "deepest gratitude" to LaRon Garrett and Bill Easton for the work in developing the drawings that will be presented.
"They have been very instrumental in moving our mental vision into a visible plan," Weissenfels said.
Improving the outdoor athletic facilities at the high school has been a districtwide goal for the past two years.
But even before that -- 15 years ago -- there was talk of bringing the facilities up to snuff with neighboring schools such as St. Johns.
The plan is to complete full-scale bleachers across the south side of the football field and possible installation of an all-weather track.
Much of the money for the project was acquired through the Credit for Kids tax program.
The program dates back to 1997 when the State Legislature passed a bill allowing individuals to deduct fees paid to schools for extracurricular activities as a tax credit.
In the first year of the program, local taxpayers donated $113,779 to the district. Last year, the amount increased to $144,900.
In addition to the stadium improvement project, some of the money is earmarked for after-school programs in math, reading and physical fitness at the elementary schools and vocational programs at the high school. The Payson Center for Success is to receive money for career exploration activities. The middle school will use money received for after-school academic enrichment and intramural programs.
If you're anxiously awaiting Payson High's 2000 schedules for the spring sports of baseball, softball and track, they should be finalized early next week.
PHS Athletic Director Barry Smith is busy confirming dates and opponents. When that's done, they'll be released and published in the Payson Roundup.
The next BestBet Aluminum Boat Team Bass Tournament is scheduled for Feb. 19 at Roosevelt Lake. Call (480) 894-0642 for more information or visit www.azha.com on the Internet.