By Curt Yeomans
The Clayton County Board of Education could bestow the name Southern Crescent Stadium, Clayton County Stadium, or Dogwood Stadium on the school system's newest athletic stadium next week. Or the school board may opt to reject all three options, and go with something else.
The school board postponed a vote on the stadium name Tuesday, so it could gather public input on what the county's third athletic stadium should be called. An online questionnaire was posted on the district's web site Wednesday morning, asking residents to choose from Southern Crescent, Clayton County, and Dogwood, or make a write-in suggestion.
The poll will remain open until Friday, at 12 p.m., according to the online questionnaire. The results will be used by the school board to help it decide what name should be chosen for the 5,000-seat facility, which is located next to Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale.
"We just want the people to be involved in this process to give a name to this new stadium," school board Chairperson Alieka Anderson said. "It's a part of the community, and we want the community to be involved."
On Tuesday, school system Athletic Director Bob Brannon told school board members he and Assistant Superintendent of High Schools Derrick Manning came up with the short list of names that was presented that night.
Brannon and Acting Chief Operations Officer Cephus Jackson told board members a name needed to be selected by early June to avoid having to call construction crews back to the stadium after they are slated to finish work at the stadium and Drew High School in July.
Brannon told board members he takes responsibility for the tight deadline because he thought the stadium would be named when Drew High School was named in March.
Brannon said the county's first two stadiums, Tara Stadium in Jonesboro and Twelve Oaks Stadium in Lovejoy, received their names to "celebrate the heritage of Clayton County." Tara and Twelve Oaks are also the names of fictional plantations in the book "Gone With The Wind."
Tara Stadium opened more than 40 years ago, and Twelve Oaks Stadium was built about 20 years ago, Brannon told the school board. As is the case with those facilities, the new stadium will be shared by all of the county's high schools for football games and track and field competitions. All three stadiums will be in use this fall for high school football games, Brannon said.
Brannon and Manning could not be reached Wednesday for additional comment.
On the net:
Clayton County Public Schools: http://www.clayton.k12.ga.us/