CMS begins repairs on Harding HS sports facilities after years of complaints

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The condition of sports facilities at Harding University High in west Charlotte has been deteriorating for years.

Athletic director Bryant Bailey said the facilities are an embarrassment, and he went to the school board twice last year with his concerns.

[Panthers' Thomas Davis donates $15K for Harding HS state champ ring]

Bailey said the football field had ponding, the visitors side bleachers weren't up to par and handrails were missing in the first three rows -- among many other safety concerns.

Channel 9 reported on the issues at the school last month and after our report, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools began making some much-needed repairs.

The district sent us a list of the repairs that includes a new surface on the football field, an irrigation system, new fencing and fresh paint.

Bailey said CMS also replaced the surface on the visitor's bleachers, but there's still an issue with the spacing and there are still no handrails. He also said the football field is still a big concern.

“You'll get this fixed then other stuff needs to be fixed,” Bailey said.

Another major need that was missing from the list was a locker room.

The school’s football program doesn't have a field house or locker rooms, so the team has to walk at least five minutes each way to use facilities in the gym. That only gives them five minutes during halftime to regroup and get ready for the rest of the game.

“Just to continue to see the neglect across the board for Harding,” said Matt Morrow, who is the booster club president. “Not only in football, but other sports as well.”

>> Reading this story in our app? The new "Follow the Lead" feature allows you to tap the blue tag indicated with a '+' to subscribe to alerts on the very latest breaking news updates.

Morrow, who is a Harding alum, brought the concerns to the school board at least twice in the last year.

“The main thing we're looking for is direction,” Morrow told Channel 9. “Can you do something for us and if you can, what can you do?”

Bailey said he has talked to the district's new superintendent, Earnest Winston, about the issues and hopes he can help.

"So obviously he's new, so we just have to let him get up to speed," Bailey said.

“As an alum, it's disheartening to say that I see the same uniforms that I played in 15 years ago still in there having to be used,” Morrow said. “Show our kids that someone cares about them.”

A CMS spokesperson said the district doesn't have the money to accommodate a project so big right now, but they are looking at getting specific answers on how the district can help the high school get up to speed.

Comments on this article