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Archive for Sunday, May 11, 2008

District explores stadium options

May 11, 2008

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It appears that the Lawrence School District is close to reaching a solution on how it will move forward in the ongoing stadium saga that has been the talk of the town for months.

Whether that solution will have an immediate impact on the local high school sports scene remains to be seen.

Thursday, district administrators released the specifics on a project that would include installing lights, 4,000-seat bleachers, artificial turf and restrooms at the track facilities at Free State and Lawrence high schools.

The new venues, officials said, could be ready by the fall.

On Friday, the varsity football coaches at both schools offered their thoughts about the proposal.

"I know our district administrators are working extremely hard," Free State coach Bob Lisher said. "And I know they're doing their very best to find a solution. We've shuffled our kids around between Haskell and KU, and it would be nice to finally have a place of our own."

Lawrence High coach Dirk Wedd said he believed the primary goal was to find the best solution for the city as a whole.

"We're kind of treading water," Wedd said. "And we've been treading water for a few years. I appreciate that the district is stepping up and trying to get something done. The relationship we have with Haskell is very good, but the bigger picture is what's best for kids and the city."

Both Lisher and Wedd said they thought the latest proposal put them closer to resolution than ever before.

The School Board will consider options for improving high school athletic facilities without a tax increase or bond issue at its 7 p.m. Monday meeting.

The options include continuing to rent Haskell Stadium at a cost of $5,000 per game, or adding new, smaller stadiums at each high school campus. District officials said the smaller stadiums could be used to bridge the gap until a district facility, similar to those found in Olathe or Topeka's Hummer Sports Park, could be built.

The chief concern about joining the masses, however, is that Lawrence's athletic teams would lose the unique feel of Haskell Stadium and would essentially be playing in a cookie-cutter venue.

That doesn't have to be the case, according to Lisher and Wedd.

"I hear people talk about sterile stadiums," Lisher said. "But I look at Hummer Sports Park or the stadium at Shawnee Mission North or what they have in Olathe and I see beautiful stadiums."

Wedd agreed, and said building something new did not have to spell the end of Lawrence being unique.

"If they tell me to play in a parking lot, I'll play in a parking lot," Wedd said. "But I don't think the city of Lawrence accepts average. The city doesn't want Free State or Lawrence High to be average. Building something special is going to take some thought and some creativity, but there are people out there who are interested in doing it."

Comments

Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

been_there (Anonymous) says: Sorry, misread the number, my deepest apology. That's a relief, I wonder how many do attend?----I don't know what the record is, but I do know this.The minute I saw this article, my old seat instantly remembered the feeling of sitting on the rows at Haskell Stadium 30 plus years ago. Cold, hard and numbing! Makes a person fidgety, especially the front edge.

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Pilgrim 5 years, 11 months ago

"The chief concern about joining the masses, however, is that Lawrence's athletic teams would lose the unique feel of Haskell Stadium and would essentially be playing in a cookie-cutter venue."******In this case, "unique" is used as a synonym for "decrepit."

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Pilgrim 5 years, 11 months ago

cool (Anonymous) says:attention LJW readers ********Post #1 of 11 out of a total of 21 at this writing (including this one). All 11 of which could have been put into a single post that might have stumbled upon some little sliver of relevancy. But no. Eleven separate posts to handle a single topic. Apparently somebody just likes to see their screen name as many times as possible with zero regard for content, facts, or relevance.Pathetic.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

So Cool, once again, is most worried about himself. Such a civic person. His block and his street are valued over others in Lawerence? Lawrence over the rest of Kansas. This all makes sense now.He bought his house with full knowledge of the neighborhood flooding potential. After all, the property had sat empty for over a year. And now he wants everyone else to step forward and pay more for HIS decision. Get ready for his continual multi-posts on this issue. It actually has his interest. But this is not a civic minded, or civil person.

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been_there 5 years, 11 months ago

Remember the lady that lived near the LHS and vigilently watched for people that might accidently step in her yard and then she would yell at them? Happened to me once, I believe she kept her car covered with plastic claiming the extra traffic from the students got dust on her car. Kind of felt sorry for her.

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been_there 5 years, 11 months ago

I never heard the loudspeakers at Haskell till a couple of years ago. Now I hear them all the time. Why are they so much louder? Thus my concern for residents living next to LHS. The practices for the marching band don't last that long and music is easier to listen to. Used to live in that area a few years ago and don't remember it continueing once school started, seemed to only go on for a month. Of course if there is a real parking problem, maybe charging $10 to$15 for parking in their driveway, might make them feel better.

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been_there 5 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, misread the number, my deepest apology. That's a relief, I wonder how many do attend?

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beobachter 5 years, 11 months ago

been_there,When have there ever been 40,000 people at a LHS game, anywhere?

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

People around LHS have had to put up with marching band at 6:30 or 7 am forever. I don't know about Free State.

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been_there 5 years, 11 months ago

Won't this increase the number of accidents at 19th and Louisianna? Then the city will try to revive the plans for a roundabout. I don't think it is fair to put something like this in an existing neighborhood that already has to deal daily with high school students. It won't be as much of a problem at Freestate since I assume it has more parking. Where are the 40,000 people going to park?

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been_there 5 years, 11 months ago

I can't help but think about some poor guy needing to get up a say 3 or 4 in the morning to go to work on the morning following the game and can't get any sleep because of the loudspeaker and yelling. When he moved there or bought his house, there was no games a few feet from his house. I can hear the loudspeakers at Haskell from my house behind Hobby Lobby.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

let's see now, Shawnee Mission school district has how many students & funding : (apples & oranges)That doesn't have to be the case, according to Lisher and Wedd."I hear people talk about sterile stadiums," Lisher said. "But I look at Hummer Sports Park or the stadium at Shawnee Mission North or what they have in Olathe and I see beautiful stadiums."Wedd agreed, and said building something new did not have to spell the end of Lawrence being unique.

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 11 months ago

Cool is absolutely right on the flooding problems, they have been around, unaddressed in this neighborhood for ages.And hey, I think children on 21st in that area are worth only 15 pts, the visibility is so bad, so they are probably safe.OK, before everyone gets after me, you remember the jokingly said, "Hey look, such and such, 25 pts!" when you were at LHS! One student in a whole parking lot being harder to hit, and worth more points than someone walking out between parked cars on a tight street, those were too easy.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

sorry forum members but i had to blog this story to get it to your attention off of the sports page on sunday.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

speed bumps need to occur on 21st street before one of the children is injured by increased pedestrian cross-traffic to the football stadium - was this included in 19th Street improvements ?

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

Centennial Neighborhood Association would also like to see the plan for LHS football game parking !

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

likewise over by Centennial the district continues to flood out the neighborhing houses because there is no engineered drainage system for Centennial schools as well. the nearby homes all have flooded out yards all the way west to Carolina street and includ some district teacher houses.

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

an engineered drainage system is needed for the entire west property line at LHS and also for the entire southern boundary of LHS --- not just putting astroturf and fields ontop of an undesigned swamp and further flooding out the neighborhoods.damage continues to Alabama because the current fields drain through all of the neighbors yards, especially the home at 2000 Alabama ! and flood the street insteadof going into the storm water system !let's do it right School District !

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

centennial neighbors sure hope that an engineered drainage system is part of the plan for LHS - the proposed football location is immediately near homes between 19th & the vacated alley at 20th & Alabama where currently standing water ponds and requires all of the homes to have at least two working sump pumps !

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

school district new venues could be ready by fall ?

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cool 5 years, 11 months ago

attention LJW readers ------

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