School board to consider Dixie baseball field name; Don Lay supporters plan last rally

A large rock bearing the name of Coach Don Lay Flyer Field sits just outside the fence at the location of Dixie High School's old baseball field, St. George, Utah, June 16, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Washington County School District Board of Education is expected to make a decision on a controversial name for the new Dixie High School baseball field during Tuesday’s regular board meeting.

The old baseball field has been torn down, and a new one built nearby. The district proposes to name the new field simply “Flyer Field,” rather than “Coach Don Lay Flyer Field,” a move that has become hotly contested. The old field was named after much-loved and celebrated Coach Don Lay, who died in 2011.

Lay’s daughter, Merry Dawn Lay Johnson, and other alumni and supporters believe the name was intended to be maintained as a perpetual designation, and have started petitions, launched Facebook pages and spoken out at previous school board meetings in an attempt to keep Coach Don Lay’s name associated with the new field.

Read more: Dixie High School: New era brings new baseball field, controversy over name

Johnson plans to attend the school board meeting, along with her brother, sister and mother, and other supporters.

“The important thing is, it’s not just the family, I mean it’s all of the Dixie High alumni and supporters that want the name to stay the same,” Johnson said.

“We feel like Dad was honored for his contributions to Dixie High School, not just because he rebuilt the baseball program and because he organized and got this field built, but for all of the contributions he made … all around, he dedicated his life to Dixie High School.”

The name change was the decision of Dixie High School Principal Sharla Campbell who said in a previous interview the best way to honor history while also moving forward is to create a “Dixie legacy wall” that would give recognition to many people who have contributed to Dixie High School baseball over the years.

During a June 16 school board meeting, several of Lay’s supporters including his children, former students and community members stood to address the board giving heartfelt and often tearful pleas to the board to reconsider changing the name of the field.

Read more: Fate of baseball field’s name undecided after emotional school board meeting

The issue is listed as an action item on the board agenda for the regular school board meeting Tuesday at 4 p.m., and members of the public can comment before the board votes on the matter.

Anyone who wants to speak at a school board meeting must fill out a short form, WCSD Form 50, which can be found on the school district website, and is also available prior to the meeting.

School board meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of each month, although this is subject to change. The Washington County School District building is located at 121 W. Tabernacle Street in St. George.

School board agenda

Tuesday’s school board meeting agenda also includes these items:

  • Information on enrollment and safe schools
  • Bid for the St. George Elementary
  • Dixie High School baseball field
  • Information on student achievement and instructional technology
  • Reports by the superintendent, the school board and the PTA/PTO and Community Council

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Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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