Space would also be used for physical education classes, marching band and community events
OESJ is proposing to spend a maximum of $5.9 million from the district’s Capital Reserve Fund to upgrade the soccer and softball fields behind the Jr./Sr. High School into a multi-sport turf field.
A December 21 vote has been scheduled for this project. Voting will be held from 12 noon to 8 p.m. at both school buildings.
The school district needs voter approval to spend the money from the Capital Reserve Fund. There is no tax impact for this project.
The Capital Reserve will still have a balance of $2.47 million after the money for the turf field is paid.
“This is a great opportunity to use money we already have, without any borrowing, to upgrade fields that desperately need upgrades,” said Superintendent Adam Heroth.
The plans call for a synthetic turf softball field with 200-foot outfield and a 210-by-360-foot synthetic turf soccer field as well as a 500-seat grandstand with video platform, stadium lights and a 25-car parking area and access road to the field. Both fields would be regulation size.
Athletic Director Travis Heiser said the current fields have been an issue for several years. The fields “have a long history of draining issues leading to standing water on the fields, making them unplayable. We have had to move numerous home soccer games to other school districts many times over the last several years due to poor and unsafe playing conditions of our current fields.”
Heiser spoke of the several advantages to having a turf field. He said, “a new turf field would make outdoor activities available to athletes and students from approximately early March to early December – much longer than the current grass fields – because the turf can better withstand hard weather conditions. It would also help with accommodating practices for spring sports while snow is still on the ground.”
Heiser also discussed the value a turf field would provide beyond just the high school athletics program. He said, “it would be great for our physical education classes, the marching band practices, graduations, assemblies, youth programs, community events and so much more…the possibilities are endless!”