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North Lincoln football coach Nick Bazzle said improvements to the school's football field are a safety issue. 

The need for extensive work on North Lincoln High School’s football field is as much a health issue as it is an aesthetic one, school officials told the Lincoln County Board of Education April 2.

“Our football field was in bad shape, honestly,” said North Lincoln coach Nick Bazzle. “It was almost to the point of being dangerous for our kids to practice on. I knew that when I came in last year as head football coach. One of the first things I wanted to do was to take this on to try to upgrade it to where it’s safe.”

Bazzle added that players suffered ankle and shoulder injuries on the field last season, and that he wanted a complete overhaul of the surface, not just a “Band-Aid.”

Work on the field is being done by Brad Huss, a contractor hired by the school’s booster club. It includes “crowning” the middle of the field to encourage drainage, regrading and resodding the surface, and extending the field 20 yards.

Booster fundraising is covering the cost of the work, and Huss has provided some of the materials at no cost.

“Our fields look better than they ever did,” said North Lincoln principal Mitch Sherrill. “It’ll be green for graduation.”

Sherrill also updated the board on other athletic-facility improvements, along with those that still need to be done including repainting the gym floors and moving the school emblem to make it more visible, and buying new wrestling mats.

Broadband issues

Director of Technology Steven Hoyle told the board that the latest outage of the district’s broadband network prompted him to look for alternatives to current provider Windstream.

“We’ve sent letter upon letter to them about our disapproval,” Hoyle said. “Most of the southeastern U.S. Windstream customers were off line for a good part of last week. It’s our intent to migrate away from Windstream to a new service that will give us Enhanced 911 capabilities.”

Enhanced 911 gives dispatchers the ability to pinpoint where an emergency call is coming from.

The school system is not under contract with Windstream, but Hoyle said switching to a new provider would take about a year-and-a-half.

Dental service

Superintendent Lory Morrow reported that beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, Gaston Family Health Services will send mobile dental units to serve students at the district’s Title I elementary schools. The services will include dental exams, x-rays, cleanings and fluoride treatments

The district already offers a free sealant program for second-grade students and screenings district wide.

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