Private group enters public phase of school athletic facility fundraising
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – Those raising money for new athletic facilities in Marshfield are turning to the community to help reach their goal.
A private group has raised over $5 million in the past eight months, and with a commitment of $3.5 million from the School District of Marshfield, they have just $2 million left to raise.
Brad and Kendra Haessly were born and raised in Marshfield, and are graduates of Marshfield High School. They are part of the group that has been raising money privately until now.
Kendra, a kindergarten teacher at Madison Elementary School, says this is a community project, not just a school district project.
“Having a facility like this is so beneficial because so many people can come into Marshfield with tournaments, like regionals and sectionals, any type of athletic event that can bring other schools to our community,” she said. “I think it financially benefits our city.
“There are different events that we have been unable to have because our facilities aren’t in very good standing right now. In fact, we would like to bring Relay for Life back, along with possibly Badger State Games, so there are many benefits, and we certainly hope the community will support it.”
The price tag for the new athletic facilities recently went up by three-quarters of a million dollars, but the additions were asked for by the community. The Marshfield Board of Education voted in April 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.
Those additions were identified by donors and community members, not the school district or board. The total cost is now roughly $11 million, but Brad Haessly says bids might come in lower than anticipated.
“I’ve talked with many contractors in the area about this project, and many of them have expressed doing in-kind work,” Brad said. “So until the bidding phase goes through, we won’t have a true idea of what the cost actually is. If we do fall short of our fundraising goal, we may need to look at a few areas where we can reduce the expense maybe by cutting back a little bit. The project as a whole will still take place; some of the amenities may not.”
Brad says fundraisers got serious about the project last fall.
“There’s been a lot of talk for 15 to 20 years about improving what we have at our high school, which is almost nothing for outdoor facilities now, and also making improvements at the middle school; so, we had some serious discussions about really getting this thing off the ground.”
How to donate
Those who wish to contribute can get all the information needed through the Marshfield School District website. Donations are made through the Marshfield Area Community Foundation, by designating it for the “Marshfield Community Athletics Facilities,” and the donations are tax-deductible.
“We really feel strongly that this project will be a great benefit to the community and that it’s long overdue,” added Brad.
There are corporate donors to the project as well. For instance, Forward Bank will have its name and logo on the synthetic playing surface. Families are also getting involved in memory of loved ones. The new track facility at Marshfield Middle School will be named in honor of John and Sue Harrington and family.
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 soccer. That plans includes a concession building and Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame features. The plan also calls for a soccer and practice football field and Junior Varsity baseball field on the vacant lot adjacent to the Tiny Tiger Center, west of the high school, and a new varsity softball field next to Madison Elementary School.
For more information, or to donate, visit www.marshfieldschools.org.