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Archive for Friday, May 9, 2008

Stadiums, new turf on drawing board

May 9, 2008

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Sports facilities could see change

Big changes could be in store for sports facilities at both Lawrence high schools. Enlarge video

Lawrence could have two high school football stadiums with artificial turf as early as next year under a plan for a $2.8 million project that emerged Thursday.

"This isn't just about one sport. This is really more about the total system and the total program," Superintendent Randy Weseman said.

Board members will consider options for improving high school athletic facilities without a tax increase or bond issue at their 7 p.m. Monday meeting at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.

The plan could involve installing lights, artificial turf, bleachers and restrooms at the track facilities of Lawrence High and Free State, possibly in time for fall. The stadiums could be used for football, soccer, band and track, and the first phase also could include more parking at LHS.

Administrators are looking at using a financing tool called performance contracting to pay for projects like installing turf because it would save on water, mowing and fertilizing. Performance contracting rewards energy-efficient methods.

The rest of the money for the improvements would come from $2.4 million remaining from its 2005 bond issue, the district's existing capital outlay fund and other financing tools, administrators said. The state restricts school districts to using capital outlay and bond funds to improve facilities, instead of paying for salaries and other expenses.

A second phase would include adding artificial turf baseball and softball fields at both high schools and improving the tennis courts and taking care of an $11 million backlog of projects at the elementary schools.

A third phase could include working toward a district sports facility with private partnerships involved, but Weseman did not elaborate Thursday.

For football, the district has rented Haskell Stadium for $3,000 per game, which will increase to $5,000 per game next season. LHS has played home games there for decades.

"I feel strongly about supporting tradition, but I also am told by people in the community on a daily basis that you need to maximize my tax dollars, so that's how it is," Weseman said.

Haskell Athletic Director Ted Juneau said the university just finished a $20,000 project to resod and regrade the field for next season. He said the development was "not a divorce" and that the university would support what the district decides.

"We're here if they need us," he said.

Comments

KsTwister 5 years, 11 months ago

KU owns 15th and Kasold and you know where that is going. Lawrence with two high school stadiums is about as stupid as it gets, hands down. So is Lawrence anymore. Well, that is an honest assumption by most anymore and many are leaving so finance it yourselves because for the 33 million it cost for SJHS this isn't going to be cheap.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

worth repeatingjayhawk166 (Anonymous) says:How can we spend 2.8 million to fund the building of new stadiums (for football teams that have been just over 500 in the last few years) but we cant afford to fund the 100 thousand dollars for new uniforms for the LHS Band, which has won the title of Grand Champions three times in the last three years and has received 1 ratings at all the music competitions it has entered in the last ten or fifteen years?If we truly are a city that prides itself on its arts than what is this crap? Yes we do need a stadium(s) but lets get our priorities straight first.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

worth repeating:dirkleisure (Anonymous) says:Put a single USD 497 facility at 15th and Kasold, with entrances on both 15th Street and on Kasold Drive and signals easily programmed to operate only when an event is occurring.Set it up as a football/track facility with room for expansion if it is deemed more cost effective to maintain a single baseball/softball complex or a single soccer complex. If a soccer complex is truly desired, contact the university about roping in the KU Women's Soccer team, whose facility is a joke.Pay for it through a variety of sources but certainly partially with a guest tax on hotel rooms and a modest 1/8 cent sales tax as this facility should be built with the intention of luring both KSHAA and NCAA events as well as a variety of camps and tournaments.For once in this community's recent history of 20 years or so, actually recognize that our major institutions are co-dependent: the universities, the schools, the city, and the county. Take one away and the other three will fail.

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jayhawk166 5 years, 11 months ago

How can we spend 2.8 million to fund the building of new stadiums (for football teams that have been just over 500 in the last few years) but we cant afford to fund the 100 thousand dollars for new uniforms for the LHS Band, which has won the title of Grand Champions three times in the last three years and has received 1 ratings at all the music competitions it has entered in the last ten or fifteen years? If we truly are a city that prides itself on its arts than what is this crap? Yes we do need a stadium(s) but lets get our priorities straight first.

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commuter 5 years, 11 months ago

Great. Athletics gets better facilities. Why do band, orchestra, and drama still have to use those old gyms and auditoriums? How much does the school spend on sports? The problem is they don't want us to know. The Director of Finance probally would have a clue how to find out anyway!!!If people are so uptight about sports, put your money together and fund it yourselves. No were does it say that Public schools have to offer sports.

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

Put a single USD 497 facility at 15th and Kasold, with entrances on both 15th Street and on Kasold Drive and signals easily programmed to operate only when an event is occurring.Set it up as a football/track facility with room for expansion if it is deemed more cost effective to maintain a single baseball/softball complex or a single soccer complex. If a soccer complex is truly desired, contact the university about roping in the KU Women's Soccer team, whose facility is a joke.Pay for it through a variety of sources but certainly partially with a guest tax on hotel rooms and a modest 1/8 cent sales tax as this facility should be built with the intention of luring both KSHAA and NCAA events as well as a variety of camps and tournaments.For once in this community's recent history of 20 years or so, actually recognize that our major institutions are co-dependent: the universities, the schools, the city, and the county. Take one away and the other three will fail.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 5 years, 11 months ago

cato when was the last time you attended a game at Haskell?The place was run down 15 years ago, before the second high school, and it hasn't gotten any better. Restrooms, lockerrooms, and concessions all need MAJOR upgrades and that has nothing to do with three teams playing on the playing surface. The fact that there are no facilities, or shelter, on the visitor's side of the field gets exasperated on those occassions where one has to take cover due to the weather as yuo try and mix fans from competing schools in the bowels (from the smell of it almost literally) of the north side of the stadium.

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blakus 5 years, 11 months ago

This plan will reduce maintainence costs extensively and save injury to many of high school athletes. There is no need to water, fertilize, mow artificial turf. Additionally, the city saves money by not having to pay Haskell or YSI to use their facilities. There is no possibility of turning your ankle in a divot/hole the size of a soccer ball on turf. Even if these are 'temporary' facilities, in the sense that there won't be games held there after a new facility is built, the new fields will always be used for practice. Practice fields recieve the most abuse and require much upkeep to remain safe. For those complaining about the funds... lets think about the last time Lawrence built new facilities for its athletes... or even made vast improvements?

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cato_the_elder 5 years, 11 months ago

Hepburn, your ignorance is patently offensive. Haskell Stadium is one of the finest venues in which to play high school football anywhere. You obviously don't know anything about football or football tradition, and view taxpayers' money as a bottomless cornucopia. Unfortunately, three teams can't play there consistently on a grass field, a point that was ignored by a majority of the school board when it decided to force a split high school on the community as the only option available. Sadly, despite tireless efforts by USD 497 to work with Haskell Indian Nations University to get field turf installed there and upgrade the facilities, insufficient progress has been made to ensure that Lawrence kids will have a long-term solution for a football playing field. It is, therefore, possible that whiners like you will ultimately get your way (which has happened before in recent memory) and a chain-link ODAC clone, completely lacking the charm and character of Haskell, will be built with ready access for all of the people who claim to live in Lawrence but in reality have very seldom set foot east of Massachusetts Street - unless to visit Haskell Stadium.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

9 May 2008 at 3:16 p.m.Suggest removalPermalinkTheSychophant (Anonymous) says:Maria, perhaps I didn't articulate the issue very well, but I am not griping about the academic achievements of the student-atheletes themselves, but rather, the gradual decline in overall institutional excellence and academic standing that KU has suffered since Hemmenway took over. For years, now, KU's standings in the national rankings of major universities has continually declined.

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Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

Great idea, Maria. With sound leadership and judicious use of resources, there is no reason to sacrifice acadmeics over recreation, and vice versa. By the way, your observations on the acadmic performance of KU student athletes is well taken. Over the years, student athletes at KU have typically out performed the national field. Its a shame that the so-called traditional students have not performed at the same level of consistency.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

What I F the city helped pay for some of the drainage improvements ?they recently helped finance 1/3 of a private hotel ---the third version of the o r e a d i n n design.a charmer, right ?http://oreadneighborhood.org/ONAoreadHot:see also: www.oreadinn.com

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

what if the district co-ordinated with the city for drainage improvements in concert with the new paving work on 19th street, then followed by Alabama improvements,and finally with 21 st street connection to the 1997 storm system improvements ?

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Take_a_letter_Maria 5 years, 11 months ago

My apologies. Thank you for the clarification.BTW - I agree that a district facility would most definitely be my preference as well. Perhaps Coach Self and his foundation could be tapped to help out on that front some how. I heard him on the radio earlier this week discussing how appalled he was with the lack of facilities in town for youth activities, and couldn't believe how limited the availability for participation was for a variety of sports beginning at the Jr. High level.

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Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

Maria, perhaps I didn't articulate the issue very well, but I am not griping about the academic achievements of the student-atheletes themselves, but rather, the gradual decline in OVERALL institutional excellence and academic standing that KU has suffered since Hemmenway took over. For years, now, KU's standings in the national rankings of major universities has continually declined.

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

Sycophant...Academics, athletics and other extra-curricular activities are not mutually exclusive. Those that do all have a far better chance of success in high school, college and beyond.Unfortunately, the facilities have been lacking attention for many decades. Our poor situation needs to changed quickly. Haskell is a disaster. I can envision lawsuits and costly litigation that we don't need.I would agree that a District Sports Complex would be the most cost effective measure that could be taken. Put it on a bond issue and go for it!I don't want to water down academics at all. I just believe that athletics has a place and facilities should be developed to support that challenge. I believe that athletes actually do better in school than their non-athletic counterparts.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 5 years, 11 months ago

Sycophant, you really should do some research - "While the contemporary trend is to emphasize athletic achievement over academic excellence (The Hemenway administration is a fine example),"This appeared either earlier this week or late last week - 'It was a special year for KU's most visible sports. But associate athletic director Paul Buskirk was beaming Wednesday for many other reasons."In addition to the Orange Bowl and national championship," Buskirk said, "these students broke nine GPA records, including setting the all-time GPA record for the entire department. For me, to watch the Academic All-Americans sitting up front, it gives me goosebumps all by itself. It was absolutely a joy."There were 11 Academic All-Americans total'

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Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

Hepburn, my family has lived in Lawrence since 1970. I couldn't agree with you more. Historically, change and improvement moves very slowly in Lawrence. But let me pose this: Why should we continue to suffer past indiscretions. Instead of capitulating to old practices, shouldn't the public demand the birth of a new, practical and rational public policy. And to those naysayers who decry expenditures on athletics, I strongly disagree with your take on the issue. While the contemporary trend is to emphasize athletic achievement over academic excellence (The Hemenway administration is a fine example), the Lawrence School System continues to resist that trend, and, according to several nationally recognized authorities, is considered to be one of the better school systems in the country. Academics and athletics are not mutually exclusive. Ask the Ancient Greeks.

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

Sychophant makes sence, but would the community go for a sports complex that addresses all needs by passing the bond issue that is necessary? I would be for it, but like much of what happens in Lawrence, we'd be waiting for 20 more years before the plans would be developed, the land purchased and the bond proposal passed.I understand that this money is available now and change could occur quickly. Otherwise, nothing will happen.

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

georgeofwesternkansas (Anonymous) says: "Don't spend your capital on any pesky education projects. Get those kids tuned up for somthing with a very low college graduation rate!!!"If you were to analyze college graduation rates with athletic participation and compare that with college graduation rates of non-participants of Lawrence high schools, you would find athletes graduating at a higher rate than non-participants.Those who participate in high school activities don't get into trouble as much as those who do not participate. Those in activities such as athletics, music, student government, forensics and theatre have goals to accomplish while those not participating are more likely to get into and remain in trouble.Of my daughter's high school basketball team from a Lawrence high school, 5 starters have graduated from college within 4 ½ years in areas such as (more than one major) English education, exercise physiology, journalism, sports administration, mathematics, meterology, international relations, 3 are in masters programs, 2 have their masters and 2 will ultimately seek doctorates. All five played college sports (volleyball, track & field, cross country, basketball and soccer), each was a captain of their repective collegiate team and one was an All American in volleyball and track. They prospered in academics and sports. While in high school each of them were in at least 2, often 3 sports during the school year. They learned how to be organized and accomplished. Their drive served them well in college. Athletics fueled their desires and each was helped in the form of both athletic and academic scholarships and grants in college.They don't deserve to be put down because their athletic skills helped make them who they have become. Other teams from Lawrence high schools have similar records. This group is not atypical of the correlation between athletes and good students.I reject your contention that expenditures for athletics only produces low qualified college students! The only criticism that can be made is that more students, those who are not now involved, need to have involvement. At the same time, some need to work and there are some who simply don't want that extra contact with school.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

excellent comment sychophant !

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Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't understand the logic of the school board. Haskell is far too outdated to be a viable option for the long term future. And two separate game-day football facilities is certainly not cost effective. What we need is a shared complex. Sure, the price tag is going to be more than 2.8 million, but the current plan appears to be a short term band aid. Why not do it right the first time. IN the long haul, the cost will be less.

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LeonTrotsky 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh, I had visions of Mansfield, TX when I read the headline--two very large high school stadia within sight of one another.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

Hepburn (Anonymous) says:Cool's concern for drainage is a REAL problem that should be addressed in any School Board plan. I would certainly hope that neighborhood consideration occurs before rather than after the fact because the area around Centennial School will likely be developed.

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georgeofwesternkansas 5 years, 11 months ago

Don't spend your capital on any pesky education projects. Get those kids tuned up for somthing with a very low college graduation rate!!!

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consumer1 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks KUDUDE.I kinda just fly through these sometimes. I agree with you Hepburn, being on the school board is a thankless job. I only suggested that because you do seem to have pretty darn good logic about this issue. I have a tendency to react emotionally to issues that force my taxes to constantly be on the rise. The housing market in Lawrence and I suppose all over the country just makes me sick. Thanks.Con1

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

Consumer1 says:"I do wonder if Hepburn is part of the school board..."I want to assure you that I am absolutely not part of the school board nor am I an employee of the school district. I'm just a resident of Lawrence with no children still in the school district. No way would I want to put myself up as a public target for zero pay by being on the school board. You've got to be crazy to run for that office...Sorry board members, but that's worse than being on the city or county commission. Most of the time, people don't know what city / county governments do. But, they sure do make waves when you talk about schools.

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KU_Dude 5 years, 11 months ago

Anonymous was spelled incorrectly consumer1

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consumer1 5 years, 11 months ago

(Impressed) , I will leave other typos to the grammar squad.

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consumer1 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow!! I am impresed there is ac tually good dialog going on here. Very nice. I do wonder if hepburn is part of the school board, since this is anonomys. If so that is a good thing, bring the school board to this blog and convince the other sceptical (including me) bloggers of your reasoning. So far fat tony has made some very good points as has hepburn. I like it keep it up. This is a productive conversation.

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KU_Dude 5 years, 11 months ago

cool just needs to quit stuffing himself at local burger on wednesday nights.I hope the new lights don't keep him awake at night.

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

Cool's concern for drainage is a REAL problem that should be addressed in any School Board plan. I would certainly hope that neighborhood consideration occurs before rather than after the fact because the area around Centennial School will likely be developed.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

and regarding LHS where is the adequate parking for the new stadium ? the current plan is to move the tennis court facitity to Centennial School grounds.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

Centennial neighbors between 19th & 21st on Alabama need the district to install an adequate drainage systemfor the C U R R E N T playing fields. At present ponding of water occurs behind the houses along Alabama and provides great mosquito habitat !The practice of the district has been to just keep adding soils to the top of the playing fields and dumping the water runoff on the neighbors particuarly at the vacated alley at 20th & Alabama.this is partly responsible for the poor drainage and pothole situation along Alabama between 19th & 21st.These 'T E M P O R A R Y' facilities should not occur without an adequate E N G I N E E R E D drainage system. IF they go for astro-turf the water runoff will be more like a hard surface and needs somewhere to go to besides the neighbors basements on Alabama !

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Paul R Getto 5 years, 11 months ago

A good plan and well worth the long-term investment. Haskell is no longer functional, safe or useful.

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KsTwister 5 years, 11 months ago

That might be the only way some of us will get anything from the dolts that voted yes in their "special" election. You would think that parents would raise a question about their school boards decision. Incredible.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

from just another bozo above:I don't believe that $2.8 million spent on two entirely new facilities would end up with something better than $2.8 million in improvements to Haskell Stadium, and maintenance costs would be less on one facility than they would be on three.And was pointed out earlier, where would the parking be at Lawrence High?

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packs_of_wild_dogzz 5 years, 11 months ago

Better yet, how about a kickass multifunctional facility the whole city can use. AND the school district can pick up the majority of the tab!!

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Bud Stagg 5 years, 11 months ago

FatTony has it right. Keeping thinking small lawrence and that is what we will be. If you are not growing you are shrinking, because everyone else is trying to grow. Even if you stand still, you are being passed.

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packs_of_wild_dogzz 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey schoolboard dummies....how about just one kickass stadium and field for the two teams to share???? And try to get it done without spending $500,000 on study groups and worthless discussion. (Of course this is Lawrence, isn't it.)

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Take_a_letter_Maria 5 years, 11 months ago

"Even if it did, the facilities they are proposing are only "temporary." So, clearly, the intent is to spend much more than $2.8 million."These temporary facilities would still be used by both schools for soccer, sophomore and jv games as well as practices if/when a permanent district facility is approved/constructed."Such an investment would only be made under a long-term agreement. So, yes, the BIA would be prevented by a contract from excluding Lawrence school use."Good luck getting the Federal Government to sign off anywhere on that one."I don't believe that $2.8 million spent on two entirely new facilities would end up with something better than $2.8 million in improvements to Haskell Stadium, and maintenance costs would be less on one facility than they would be on three."There are currently maintenance costs on the three facilities already. The district just doesn't have any say in what is done on one of them now, nor would they have much say on that same one in the future."And was pointed out earlier, where would the parking be at Lawrence High?""The plan could involve installing lights, artificial turf, bleachers and restrooms at the track facilities of Lawrence High and Free State, possibly in time for fall. The stadiums could be used for football, soccer, band and track, and the first phase also could include more parking at LHS."

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: Quote:"It would take twice that to do all of the necessary renovations to Haskell Stadium."Even if it did, the facilities they are proposing are only "temporary." So, clearly, the intent is to spend much more than $2.8 million.Response: That may ultimately be true. However, the improvements would be on school district property, not on a good neighbor (HINU) that might change direction. Isn't Haskell Stadium federally owned through the BIA?Quote:"Not to mention that there would be nothing to prevent the BIA from taking the money for the renovations and then one, five or ten years down the road keep the district from using the facility."Such an investment would only be made under a long-term agreement. So, yes, the BIA would be prevented by a contract from excluding Lawrence school use.Response:You assume that contract would be or could be signed. Too much wishful thinking. Besides, would there limitations on expenditures of school district funds on property not owned by others?Quote: "$2.8 million wouldn't touch the rehab Haskell needs. Oh, and it wouldn't satisfy the $65,000 per year rent"I don't believe that $2.8 million spent on two entirely new facilities would end up with something better than $2.8 million in improvements to Haskell Stadium, and maintenance costs would be less on one facility than they would be on three.Response:You might be right on the 1 versus 2 maintenance costs, but we do have two high schools who are in perpetual comparison and need. One facility like Hummer would be great, but it isn't in the near future. If on-site facilities were built followed by a District Complex, would the on-site facilities disappear? No! They'd be used.Would Haskell Stadium still be Haskell Stadium if much was removed for rehabilitation? No. Rehab would change the character of the stadium. To rehab Haskell would require costly removal of much of the structure. That wouldn't happen where there wasn't much of a structure, if any, to begin with.Quote:And was pointed out earlier, where would the parking be at Lawrence high?Response:The article indicates "...the first phase also could include more parking at LHS." Where it would go? I don't know, but that has been a long-standing problem at LHS. I'm sure the students who have to park on side streets wouldn't mind parking on additional campus parking.

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FatTony 5 years, 11 months ago

Biggest compliant from Lawrence residents 1) Not enough high paying jobs. How to attract said high paying jobs, good schools with facilities for all extra curricular activities. Sports and Fitness are things that should be required at all levels of education. Fitness can only benefit the country as a whole in terms of lower health care costs. These habits are learned when one is a youth. But really I mean maybe Lawrence doesn't want to grow and instead of keeping good jobs and residents all the transients can just stay on Mass St. begging and straining the cities limited resources because the tax base is eroding.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"It would take twice that to do all of the necessary renovations to Haskell Stadium."Even if it did, the facilities they are proposing are only "temporary." So, clearly, the intent is to spend much more than $2.8 million."Not to mention that there would be nothing to prevent the BIA from taking the money for the renovations and then one, five or ten years down the road keep the district from using the facility."Such an investment would only be made under a long-term agreement. So, yes, the BIA would be prevented by a contract from excluding Lawrence school use."$2.8 million wouldn't touch the rehab Haskell needs. Oh, and it wouldn't satisfy the $65,000 per year rent"I don't believe that $2.8 million spent on two entirely new facilities would end up with something better than $2.8 million in improvements to Haskell Stadium, and maintenance costs would be less on one facility than they would be on three.And was pointed out earlier, where would the parking be at Lawrence High?

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TopJayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

First of all, I don't mean to sound critical or demeaning... Obviously, I like Lawrence. Hummer Sports Park, I think is one of the very few things Topeka has done right. And I think it is important to remember that it caters to a lot more than football. It also has a good soccar field with synthetic turf, (even KU has played "Home" games there when the weather would have rained them out at home.) two softball diamonds, a nice baseball diamond, and a natatorium with diving pool and olympic size regualar pool. All but football and baseball have little chance of making money at their sport.I can't remember for sure, but it seems that financing came from other sources besides the school board. I know private donations have established an endowment that should take care of regular maintanence for the life of the park. In time, (a looonngg time) it will indeed pay for itself.

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: "For a fraction of $2.8 million, the school district could instead invest in upgrades at Haskell Stadium, have a much better facility than the ones proposed, and plenty of money left over for improved shared maintenance."Get real! Haskell is old and delapidated. Other schools consider it a dangerous joke. You'd have to tear down the entire stadium and rebuild in order to get it into the 20th Century (that's 20th and not yet 21st). Any improvements must include handicap accessibility, too.Shawnee Mission improved their stadiums at a much higher cost. Theirs will be used for decades. Haskell would also need a total field rehab. If it becomes the main stadium, then it will also have to be large enough to meet soccer needs. That means modifying the track to allow for a larger infield.$2.8 million wouldn't touch the rehab Haskell needs. Oh, and it wouldn't satisfy the $65,000 per year rent. There wouldn't be any assurance that it would be available since it remains outside the control of the school district.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 5 years, 11 months ago

TopJayhawk (Anonymous) says: But why on earth would you build two such stadiums. You guys must really want to pay more in school taxes. That is just silly,--------------------------------------------------------------------------Because of all the whiners living on one side or the other of the high school dividing line demanding parity on the two campuses.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Bowhunter99 (Anonymous) says: where were these 2.8MM when they came asking for 100K for band uniforms and other miscellaneous items less than a month ago?--------------------------------------------------------------------------As stated in the article, you cannot use capital outlay funds for items like band uniforms and teacher's salaries.--------------------------------------------------------------------------KS (Anonymous) says: Glad I moved.--------------------------------------------------------------------------With that type of attitude, so are we.--------------------------------------------------------------------------just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says: For a fraction of $2.8 million, the school district could instead invest in upgrades at Haskell Stadium, have a much better facility than the ones proposed, and plenty of money left over for improved shared maintenance.--------------------------------------------------------------------------It would take twice that to do all of the necessary renovations to Haskell Stadium. Not to mention that there would be nothing to prevent the BIA from taking the money for the renovations and then one, five or ten years down the road keep the district from using the facility.

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

The argument of facility improvement versus teacher pay is lame. Yes, teachers need increased pay. That is addressed yearly. Districts which pay teachers the highest are also those who have improved facilities. The answer is not yes to one topic and no to the other. The answer is to satisfy both needs.Fortunately, teacher salaries are addressed yearly or each budgeting period. Lawrence facilities haven't been improved for years or decades. Facility improvement will be a major expenditure, but when averaged over the years of potential use, it is not that significant.The implication of the argument is that athletes are not interested in academics. That is completely wrong. Some athletes struggle in school. Other athletes and squads maintain high academic standards. All gain from both academic and athletic participation.Participation in school activities from debate to thespians to student government to band to athletics is important to the overall well educated student. Focusing solely on academics leaves gaps. Athletics is a vital component of the well rounded education. More students should be encouraged to get involved.Improved, safe facilities are important to the goal of a complete and well-rounded education for Lawrence students.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

For a fraction of $2.8 million, the school district could instead invest in upgrades at Haskell Stadium, have a much better facility than the ones proposed, and plenty of money left over for improved shared maintenance.

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consumer1 5 years, 11 months ago

You voted to throw money at the schools. What do you expect???? Is anyone surprised they are wasting our tax money on sports?? Look at how we idolize athletics over education. You foolish people who still believe that money requested for education and teacher salaries need to wake up. The money they say they are so desparate for, for education NEVER goes to books or already over paid salaries, It goes for wasteful uses like TWO stadiums. Un-freaking -believeable... Way to go F.Morons.

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macon47 5 years, 11 months ago

spend the money, we need a nice placefor the parents to park their carsduring the sames. they get thier tires muddy at haskell, plus theyhave to drive all the way overto the east side,how gruesome

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wysiwyg69 5 years, 11 months ago

keep the money flowing into sports and not the more important teachers wages, and just maybe, the teachers will find a better job then the kids cab play sports all day.. let doug compton pay for it and call it chase field

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 11 months ago

Health ConcernsMercury release into the environment has long been a serious problem. .... the environmental impact of ground-up tires used in modern synthetic turf fields. ...www.newsinferno.com/archives/category/health-concerns/ - 38k - Cached - Similar pages - Note thisTurf wars: Some see perils in synthetic grass | Philadelphia ...Mar 19, 2008 ... "There are no documented health problems with synthetic turf." Turf fields, which cost about $1 million, can be found in about 50 places in ...www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20080319_Turf_wars__Some_see_perils_in_synthetic_grass_Makers_of_artific... - 122k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

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nobody1793 5 years, 11 months ago

Why put in artificial turf that can lead to injury of growing athletes? Let them play on grass and dirt. Only you can prevent turf toe.

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b3 5 years, 11 months ago

Can you say 'waste of money' an open field and bleechers are all you need to play football.

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Bowhunter99 5 years, 11 months ago

where were these 2.8MM when they came asking for 100K for band uniforms and other miscellaneous items less than a month ago?

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KsTwister 5 years, 11 months ago

"We're looking at ways to maximize the scope of our resources. We want to get as much as we can get for as little money as possible," Superintendent Randy Weseman said."--LJWYeah, it sure sounds like it. Shameless. So much for educational upgrades, teach issues and repairs at many elementary schools on the back burner. Do you people look in the mirror at all?

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toe 5 years, 11 months ago

"To heck with the taxpayers" The motto of the school district.

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Shelley Bock 5 years, 11 months ago

Siomething has to be done. Yes, a shared sports facility would be best, but change was needed 10 years ago, not 10 years into the future. i want to know more about the plans. If it is the first phase of a two stage plan with the goal of an Olathe (ODAC & CBAC) or Topeka (Hummer) type facility, I'm all for it.Haskell Staidum is over used and out-dated. It is dangerous for participants on the field. It pales in comparison to other stadiums and facilities in the Sunflower League (Leavenworth excepted). If there are no quick improvements, Lawrence and Free State will be looking for a new league as they are dropped from the Sunflower League.Just this week, soccer coaches from Olathe and Shawnee Mission strongly complained about the YSI field. They had good reason to complain. YSI fields are over-worked and under-maintained. That maybe acceptable for recreation soccer, but not high school. I'm tired of Lawrence facility being considered a joke and dangerous by other Sunflower League opponents.Neighboring communities have made substantial improvements to their facilities. Why can't Lawrence do at least modest improvements?

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KsTwister 5 years, 11 months ago

If it is logical then it certainly isn't in Lawrence.

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jmadison 5 years, 11 months ago

The school board doesn't care about taxpayers. The sky is the limit with them.

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TopJayhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

We built a very nice sports complex in Topeka, that is as nice as any in the state. We didn't spare a lot of expense. But two high schools share it with a minimum of difficulty.. Both schools identify with it and think of it as "theirs." It helped take away your "Sunflower Games" and has attracted state tounaments, and even an NAIA bowl game. But why on earth would you build two such stadiums. You guys must really want to pay more in school taxes. That is just silly,

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