Board of Education votes in favor
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The price tag for the Marshfield School District’s new athletic facilities is going up by three-quarters of a million dollars, but the additions are being asked for by the community.
The Marshfield Board of Education voted April 11 in favor of changes to the overall scope of the project, which adds items like a separate ticket building, a visitor side press box, expanded bleacher decking, and an upgraded scoreboard for the new stadium complex at the high school. Press boxes are also being added at the new baseball field just west of the high school, and at the new softball field on the Madison Elementary campus.
Board member Dale Yakaites said the additions to the project are things that donors and community members are asking for.
“A number of things that are coming forward as additions have been suggestions for the public,” said Yakaites, “and people who have been working on the committee and people from town…this is due to community involvement and community requests.”
With the additions, a group of private citizens leading a capital campaign will now have to raise nearly $8 million for the improvements. The group reported in February it had raised 65 percent of its fundraising goal, through pledges and donations.
The district will start spending that money this spring and summer, as work gets underway on the new baseball and softball fields, along with parking lot reconstruction at the high school. Those improvements will cost $2 million, but with fundraising at just over $800,000, board member Amber Kiggens-Leifheit said the district will have to move some money around to make those projects work.
“At the point that the bills will need to be paid, in August, we should have about $836,274 in donations,” said Kiggens-Leifheit. “As you recall, for this project we are accepting pledges, so people are allowed to make bigger donations to pay over five years. So, we won’t have all of that money right up front, but we will have a good share of it.
“Fund 41 has $231,500, we’ll use $422,654 from our operational budget, and we’ll reallocate some of the areas in this year’s budget where we did well and didn’t quite spend everything that had been set aside – $600,000 – towards this project.”
The board also signed off on a donor list with naming opportunities for the new athletic amenities.
Ken and Ardyce Heiting are donating for the naming rights to the new football and soccer stadium at the high school. Money for the scoreboard is coming from the J.P. Adler fund at the Marshfield Area Community Foundation. Forward Bank will have its name and logo on the synthetic playing surface. The new track facility at Marshfield Middle School will be named in honor of John and Sue Harrington and family. All of those donations come in the $100,000 to $3 million range of giving.
The private group has raised over $4.6 million in the past seven months. The money will be combined with a $3.5 million commitment by the school district.
The Rettler Corporation of Stevens Point has designed more than $11 million worth of athletic facility improvements over the next several years.
Among other things, the plan is calling for a new 4,000 seat, multi-use sports complex next to the high school for football, track-and-field, and soccer. The plan also calls for a soccer and practice football field and JV baseball field on the vacant lot adjacent to the Tiny Tiger Center west of the high school.