Tight fit for Houlka football field

Lisa Voyles l Buy at photos.chickasawjournal.com Houlka has a young, growing football program, but finding a place to put a home field hasn't been easy. The Wildcats currently play their "home" games at Okolona.

Lisa Voyles l Buy at photos.chickasawjournal.com
Houlka has a young, growing football program, but finding a place to put a home field hasn’t been easy. The Wildcats currently play their “home” games at Okolona.

By Floyd Ingram

Chickasaw Journal

HOULKA – The Chickasaw County School Board wants a football field but may not have the room to expand as the program grows.

Trustees discussed how the proposed football field behind the city’s baseball field off of Highway 32 may not be big enough for a field house, football field and practice field.

“You usually don’t practice on your football field during the week,” said Superintendent Dr. Betsy Collums. “We are about to sign a deed with the city and do a land swap.”

School Board Attorney Jimmy Hood said he has drawn up paperwork that will allow Collums Furniture to deed the land to the district and the district to turn around and deed the property to the City of New Houlka.

Hood said moving the property to different parties in this fashion was necessary to get the land in the city’s name for maintenance purposes. Hood also pointed out the land-swap allows each entity to get what they need to manage their property.

“Will we need more property?” asked Trustee Kenneth Linton. “I’ve been told it is a tight fit.”

Linton said the district has been told they have an easement to build a road and Chickasaw County has tentatively agree to help with dirtwork. Linton also said as the program grows, parking may become an issue.

“We never got an answer if everything will fit,” said Trustee Jamie Earp. “I would hate to be looking for more land in a year or two.”

Trustee Pam Butler said she saw no reason for an immediate decision.

“Do we need to do it right now?” she said. “Until we get these questions answered I don’t think we need to vote.”

Collums said she has heard estimates of $500,000 to build the Wildcats a football field at that location.

Linton said he felt there were ways to get that cost down and he pointed out the National Guard might be able to do dirtwork as a training exercise.

Linton said the district needed to check with the county for an exact size of the property, figure in the land-swap and then draw off their needs for a football field, practice field and field house.

The board took no action on the deed.