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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

City Council Approves Closure of Elm Street in Front of School

This artist's depiction of the renovated east entrance to the school does not show the new road that will loop around to 8th Street but is included here to give an idea of how the new entrance will look when finished. (Labels for 8th Street and the proposed new road are mine.)

At last night’s City Council meeting, RISD Superintendent Kim Alexander received unanimous approval to move forward with a plan to permanently close Elm Street between 7th and 8th Streets. 

Due to the recent construction at the school, the entrance to the High School now faces Elm Street just like the entrance to the Elementary School, and when school turns out in the afternoons, students of all ages must cross the street to catch a bus or walk home while parents in cars pick up their children and drive away.

Students will all be safer with the proposed restructuring of the area in front of the school, planned to take place over the next few months. 

A new semi-circular drive will allow parents access to the front of the school to drop off and pick up their kids.  It will run from Ash Street behind the current administration office up to the school entrance and then loop around back to Ash via 8th Street.  

The new arrangement will allow kids on foot to leave the school area without having to cross the street. 



Plowboy Field will look like this once it is surfaced with Astroturf.
Plowboy Field is no longer covered with grass.  On Monday, heavy equipment could be seen on the football field grading up and removing it to make way for Astroturf, which will be the surface used by the Plowboys from now on.  The change, a decision of the School Board, will be complete before next fall. 

As part of the renovation of the school’s east entrance, the current practice field on 8th and Ash will also be done away with and converted to a parking lot.  Since Astroturf isn’t damaged by practice like grass is, future football practice sessions will take place on Plowboy Field.

The Astroturf surface is supposed to last for ten years, the same amount of time the school will take to complete payments for its purchase.  One of its big advantages is the minimal amount of maintenance required.  A sweeping device is brought in once a year to clean the surface, and that’s it.

The track that circles the football field will also be resurfaced.  Originally built in 1987, it last received a new surface in 2001, which was projected to last for seven years.  However, it has now been used for ten, so another new surface is overdue. 

The changes to Plowboy Field along with the renovations to the school’s east entrance constitute the final phase of the school’s renovation, which was divided into four phases:
  • Renovation of the elementary school.  
  • Conversion of the old band hall and early childhood center into the E.On Center and the new math and science wing.
  • Demolition of the old high school building and construction of the new building containing the gymnasium, three classrooms, and a concession area that will face inward during basketball season and other indoor events and outward during football and track events.
  • Astroturfing of Plowboy Field and re-surfacing of track.  Construction of east entrance area with parking lots.
The first two phases are complete.  The final two are both projected to be finished sometime next summer, so when school starts in the fall, everything will ready to go. 



Jacinda Morales came in sixth with a time of 12:37 at the regional cross-country meet in Arlington on Saturday, good enough to qualify her for the state cross-country meet in Round Rock this Saturday. 

The Plowgirls' cross-country team came in eighth and did not qualify.


The Plowboys concluded the 2011 football season with a 12-2 loss to the Yellowhammers in Rotan last Friday night, bringing to an end a difficult season for fans and players alike.  Their final record was 0-10 overall and 0-5 in district.

They were actually ahead for the first time all season when Eric Padilla tackled a Rotan player in the end zone with 3:47 to go in the first quarter.  The Plowboys then held the 2-0 lead until Deandre Lee’s 9-yard run with 3:25 to go in the second quarter put the Yellowhammers ahead 6-2.

Then, right before the half, Lee scooped up a Plowboy fumble and returned it 45 yards for another touchdown with only three seconds left to go in the half.  There was no scoring in the second half.

Eric Padilla led the Plowboys on offense with 12 carries for 43 yards. 


The City Council approved a Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 17, down Broadway.  The Community Center will also be open for hot chocolate and visits with Santa Claus.  Parade marshal is Roscoe Chief of Police Felix Pantoja.  The parade, as always, will be dedicated to those serving in the military.



A cold front blew in last Wednesday sending temperatures down into the low thirties.  A predicted first freeze on Thursday night never materialized, and the weekend weather was just about as perfect as a person could ask for with sunny skies, highs in the seventies, and only light breezes.  

On Monday the temperature got up into the low eighties, but that night another front blew in, bringing a shower with it.  It rained off and on for about a half hour with a downfall of a quarter to four-tenths of an inch.  Yesterday was cooler with a high of only about 61°, a low of about 35°, and north winds of 15-20mph.

Today’s high will be only in the high fifties, but the forecast is for warmer temperatures and  another gorgeous weekend.

Roscoe still hasn’t had a freeze. The average date for the first one is November 11, and back in September Bruce McGlothlin confidently predicted that the first freeze would be on November 12 this year, which is Saturday.  It will be interesting to see if he's right.


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