Schoolcraft Athletic Facilities Committee Formed

By Travis Smola

Schoolcraft schools staff, coaches and school board members held a special meeting February 11 to brainstorm ideas about upgrades for their athletic facilities.

It was the first of several planned meetings in the forming of an athletic committee to identify and deal with facility needs. “Where are we with our athletic facilities?” Superintendent Rusty Stitt asked. “What can we do without a issuing a bond?”

Projects will likely be prioritized by costs or safety concerns. The poor conditions of the tennis courts and some gym floors were brought up as items likely needing attention sooner rather than later. Future meetings will determine what can be fit into existing budgets and what may need to be bonded for.

Participants noted some projects like batting cage improvements or re-finishing of gym floors might be feasible with only the involvement of the community. “There are some things that are realistic to do that way,” High School Principal Ric Seager said. “The rest aren’t realistic to do with sweat equity or donations.”

Some of those improvements that are likely more unrealistic with just community support include higher-cost projects such as field turf for the football field or an expansion of the track to eight lanes. These items would likely call for a bond issue and a millage.

Other areas of need discussed include a wrestling/cheer room and new mats for those activities, new bases for the softball and baseball fields, expanded seating and concessions at the football field, weight room improvements, reconfiguration of discus and shot put areas, retractable basketball hoops for the middle school and soccer field improvements.

The group may look at funding ideas such as the sale of bricks, fund raisers and even volunteer labor for certain projects such as an addition to the football field concession stand.

“I think we’ve got some untapped people out there that would love to help out,” school board member Skip Fox said.

Now that they have some idea of the biggest areas of need, the next step will be to get some ideas of costs and possibly set some priorities next month. Eventually the committee may become larger. At some point, participants are planning to have a larger meeting to seek public input.

“I’m not opposed to anything, I’m just trying to get the ball rolling,” Stitt said.

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