By Steven Penn
The school board here has set renovation plans in motion for the high school’s athletic facility at its meeting Monday. The project includes a new synthetic surface football field.
Danville Community School Corporation (DCSC) Superintendent Denis Ward highlighted some of the reasons for the project.
“The corporate sponsorship in this particular project will provide a significant portion of funding for this project,” Ward said. “The needs for this project include several areas. First off, (it will) improve facilities for physical education programs when they need and decide to go outside of the building structure itself, to have an area in which they can safely conduct their activities without injury to the students or without other problems that come with just using the open areas of our campus.
“Our football program, which this project focuses, is within a fenced in area, and is really secure. Intramural programs, which we have from time to time (will utilize it). (The facility will also be used by) academic courses that utilize outside facilities, such as our marching band, (or) science classes when they go outside to do projects or to do experiments in a controlled area.”
Ward said both high school and middle school football practices and contests will be held on the new field, and it will reduce the type of injuries sustained when players are tackled on a dry, hard natural playing surface.
He added the corporation’s soccer programs will also utilize the synthetic field and it will be possible to hold weekend events at the field.
Ward said there has been communication with other corporations and how it affected some of their programs.
“We’ve talked with other school corporations that have gone through this, it’s been a great partnership with their youth programs to have a facility like (this),” he said.
John LaTurner, from DLZ Engineering in Indianapolis, was also on hand to give insight into the project.
“This field is proposed to have both football and soccer markings on it and one of our alternates — there are many — is to have the ... area outside of the field but inside the track to potentially also have the synthetic turf on it,” LaTurner said. “The other alternate for that is simply ... (have) the black rubberized material like is on the track. As of now, the south area will also have the pole vault, long jump, and the high jump will be on the north (side). Shot-put and discus, just as an FYI, will stay in the same spot.”
He said as the project moves along, the turf supplier will be selected through a bidding process.
“When we do one of these fields we go out for bids just like any other project,” LaTurner said. “There are generally five or six recognized turf suppliers. We’ve already spoken with all of them, they will likely eventually come in for interviews during this process so that the differentials in possibly the warranties and just the style of their turf will be brought (to light), which will certainly be important to the football coach and the AD, as well as the rest of the administration.”
According to LaTurner, the project also includes replacing the track around the field.
“Another portion of the project is to rip the rubberized material off the existing track,” he said. “It is understood that the asphalt underneath is in pretty good shape, and the rubberized material will be put back on. The track will have a new ... surface and ... all the lines will be laid back down.”
The project includes a new scoreboard and play clocks, additional weight room equipment, a new PA system, and miscellaneous electrical upgrades, including updating the stadium’s WIFI capabilities.
He said the project is operating with some unknowns, such as whether or not the asphalt underneath the track is actually in good condition and whether or not the soil under the existing field will need to be treated. He said both issues could affect the overall project, prompting some of the other renovations — like the scoreboard and play clocks — to be left out to get the project within budget.
“The total we have been given is $1.3 million,” LaTurner said. “That’s why ... there are several alternates, because if the soil remediation is required and we’re going to stay at $1.3 million, something will have to come off the bottom end. Whether it be the scoreboard or whatever.”
LaTurner said the project is scheduled to be completed in time for the next football season.
“We’re looking at substantial completion date of approximately June 30, the contract will have an April 15 potential start,” he said.
Tom Grabill and Ije Dike-Young, financial advisors from Education Services Company, in Indianapolis, were in attendance to explain how the project will be funded.
According to Dike-Young, a bond will be issued in the amount of $1.3 million and the taxpayer impact will be very minimal.
As for the corporate donor, the monetary gift will cover a significant portion — paid out over time — of the $1.3 million project and include naming rights to the field. However, at this time both the monetary amount gifted and the donor are protected by a confidentiality agreement. Additionally, as the donation is paid to the corporation, the board will have the option of dictating exactly where the money will go.
“The maximum amount of the project will remain at $1.3 million, the corporate sponsorship is within that and we have signed a confidentiality agreement with the donor,” Ward said. “The name will be released later in the summer when the project is complete. They do not wish to have to amount released due to private proprietary issues with their corporation. That probably will become apparent to everyone at the point when we have a ground breaking. At this time, I’m not at liberty to share the amount.”
The resolutions for the adoptions of the project, the bond and the reimbursement were made, seconded, and passed unanimously.