How will the project be funded?
The overwhelming majority of the project will be funded using private funds. However, the school district recognizes ownership in the current stadium and the related routine maintenance required. In partnership with the community, the district has discussed making available funding for relocating the stadium at a comparable amount to the money that would have been budgeted to perform routine maintenance on the existing stadium.
In 1994 a referendum was passed for the purposes of paying the cost of acquiring land; constructing a new grade 6-12 facility and related site work; remodeling, maintaining and renovating the MP Elementary School; and acquiring equipment and furnishings. The related site work on the plans included a stadium evidenced by the installation of the light poles with no lights as part of the referendum dollars spent. For almost two decades the district has been unable to implement the relocation of the field to the high school. The district was also unable to invest in infrastructure and related improvements at the elementary site. This lack of vision has created baseball and football programs with fields that do not meet NFHS standards for regulation fields, are not able to host WIAA post-season events, and are not safe. Before the district makes a significant investment in a site to remedy the current situation, a determination was made that the high school stadium site should be the eventual location and investment at the elementary site should be kept to a minimum.
Why not just renovate the old field?
A study was conducted to learn what the cost would be to upgrade each site. The elementary site has significant costs associated with bringing the site up to current codes and standards. The cost associated with increased parking capacity, locker rooms with showers, restrooms, relocating goal posts, visitor bleacher capacity, and recrowning the field was similar to the cost of relocating. With cost being generally the same at each site, the benefits of having the high school stadium located adjacent to the high school ultimately was the preference of the district staff, the steering committee and the school board.
Does this renovation have anything to do with the 2012 referendum?
The 2012 referendum was for the purpose of paying the costs of maintaining educational programs, facilities, and equipment of the district. The referendum dollars have been allocated in the budget to improve student learning and have not been used to steer this project. All efforts to relocate the stadium have been conducted using private funds.
Wouldn’t this money be better used to support educational programs?
Interscholastic athletics, the band, and cheerleading programs are educational and serve to educate children in ways that can not be accomplished in the traditional classroom. A stadium relocation supports educational programming through wellness and by giving students an outdoor space for programming. No longer would the physical education classes run in the parking lot with traffic coming and going.
When is the stadium projected to be completed?
The steering committee has set a three year timeline for project completion. The scheduled completion in the fall of 2015 could be completed earlier resulting from fundraising efforts.
What will be included in the stadium renovation?
The project would include a renovated field with irrigation, goal posts able to receive soccer goals, bleachers with capacity of minimally 1,000, pressbox and ticket booth entrance. The stadium would include the ability to add a future track as funding permits.
What about the baseball field?
The baseball field would be enhanced by a relocated football field. The outfield could be regraded to be flat rather than crowned and goal posts in play would be removed. However, the baseball field would still not meet NFHS regulations and no reorientation allows for the ability to host only limited post-season WIAA events at the elementary location.
How will it benefit everyone in the community?
A community stadium creates multiple uses throughout the year for organized high school and youth organizations. The stadium allows for the expansion of new sports to be offered that could potentially include soccer, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee. If a track were constructed, a future track team could be considered and the community would benefit from a flat area to walk or run with the ability to attract events such as Special Olympics, and Cure for Cancer walks. Families looking to relocate to southwest Wisconsin often begin their search with schools and related amenities. A community stadium would serve as an asset that would attract families to consider Mineral Point Schools. A stadium would also enhance the physical education program by providing better facilities.
How can I get involved?
The steering committee allows for naming rights for large donations and fundraising efforts of any size contribution makes a difference. Businesses are allowed opportunities to advertise in support of the effort or on structures such as scoreboards. Donations can be made to the Mineral Point School District with “Stadium” in the memo and mailed to the Superintendent Luke Francois’ attention. Ted Evans is Chair of the Steering Committee that meets regularly to discuss the direction of fundraising efforts.