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      Pelham High School to make $310K in landscape improvements

      Pelham High School
      Curb appeal is on the mind of Pelham City School leaders.{} That's why they're looking to spend more than $300,000 for landscaping at Pelham High School. The hillside along Bearden Road is going to be transformed. Soon, pine trees and other shrubbery will be planted. There's going to be a new drainage system for irrigation. Also a new sign for the school. The idea, is to make a good first impression to those who drive by the school. "It's pretty easy to at first glance say, 310,000 dollars to cut grass, that doesn't make any sense."Rick Rhoades, president of Pelham Board of Education, says this $310,000 project is more than just 'cutting grass.'"There's a lot that needs to be done. This is a tough area to maintain," says Rhoades. "We've got to get past a hill full of weeds that's impossible to cut. Over the years they've done everything from putting down a specific kind of grass, to just letting it go, and none of those were very effective.""It's not going to be just pine trees or any one type of tree. There's going to be some flowering trees that will flower in the spring, some that will flower in the fall. There's going to be shrubbery that will have good color during the year and a very attractive sign that will announce to all that this is Pelham High School."The improvement project will also include a new drainage and erosion system that will run along Bearden Road.{} "We're going to cover that, flatten it, cover it with some very nice sod that will be cut and will be maintained very well." The $310,000 for the project comes from a $35 million bond issue for the improvement of Pelham City Schools.{} "It's part of our entire plan that we have to make our schools the best they can possibly be," says Rhoades.Rhoades maintains, in the long run this will save money. The reasons being -- the new pine trees will reduce the need for mulching, and the shrubbery will cut back on the amount of mowing needing to take place.Saving money is the bottom line. But, Rhoades says it doesn't hurt to add 'curb appeal' to this school.{} "This seemed like a great way to make it much more pleasing to the eye, make a statement with what it is that we're trying to do, which is a quality education and a quality environment for our young people."The planting of trees is supposed to begin by mid to late October. The plan is{}to have all of the project complete by the end of the year.
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