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RCS finalizes parks, rec takeover

Aug. 6, the Russellville Parks and Recreation Department officially moved under the Russellville City Schools umbrella. 

Officials said the transition has been smooth, and operations are in full swing.

The Russellville City Schools Board of Education hired 11 new employees at a special called meeting Aug. 7.

Kevin Strickland will serve as a part-time worker for the Parks and Recreation Department Tennis Center, and Ellyse Strickland will serve as a part-time student worker.

Annette Oliver and Tammy West will be part-time workers at the A.W. Todd Centre, with Oliver serving as coordinator; Cara Ergle and Rose Hillman will serve as part-time employees for the Parks and Recreation Department.

Caleb Mansell and Charles Chard will work as custodian/groundskeepers. Carrie Dover will serve as the Parks and Recreation Department secretary/scheduling coordinator, and Frederick Mosley will be Parks and Recreation site coordinator.

Donnie Flanagan began work as the Parks and Recreation Department youth sports operations and facility manager effective Aug. 22.

The Parks and Recreation Department began its after-school programs Aug. 19 with additional part-time workers hired. Seven people were hired at the regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 19: Matthew Duncan and Quinetta Phillips, who will work as part-time certified; Larry Freeman and Henrietta Woods as part-time workers; and Krista Sikes, Jasmin Hamilton and Alexis Taylor as part-time student workers.

Of the seven full-time employees who previously worked in the Parks and Recreation Department when it was operated by the city, four employees were hired back, and one employee retired.

Russellville City Schools Superintendent Heath Grimes said as of now, all full-time positions are filled, but the Board of Education could decide to add more full-time positions later on once it sees how things are running.

He said the main goal is to work on accountability and ensuring everything is managed properly.

“We are just trying to maintain and make sure that everything at our fields gets taken care of,” Grimes said.

Grimes said turf management has already looked at the fields and begun the process of working to restore the fields, but he said it will take a while for the fields to return to peak level because of the nature of the project.

“We have amazing ideas for things, restoring our fields but also the programming to keep our parks full and to really bring people into Russellville,” Grimes said, “and for our students and community to really enjoy what is going on in our Parks and Rec department.”