Study Narrows Down Costs For Artificial Turf At Schumann Stadium

Fundraising for the new field is one School Board approval away from moving forward.

Just one more approval from the School Board is needed before fundraising can begin to install artificial turf at Schumann Stadium next year.

The School Board on Monday reviewed the research findings from a refined cost-benefit analysis of the outdoor athletic facilities at . The report included more precise cost estimates for installing, maintaining and eventually replacing the new turf field at Schumann Stadium. It also included plans to accommodate new softball regulations, which will go into effect for the 2013-14 season.

According to the report, the installation cost of the new field is expected to reach $800,000 at the high end, and could cost less depending on construction needs. All $800,000 would be funded by the private sector, and a $200,000 donation from the Junior Indians football program is expected to jumpstart the process.

“I want to make it clear that until all funds are raised from the private sector, there will be no projects moving forward,” said School Board Member Ron Bertieri, who also sits on the Finance Committee.

If the School Board approves the facilities plan at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 12, fundraising will begin immediately afterward. Athletic Director Dave Petroff expects to reach the fundraising goal by February 2012, and the field could be completely installed by August.

Once the field is installed, it would be the responsibility of the school district to cover maintenance and replacement costs.

Over the life of the field, annual maintenance is estimated to cost $5,000, which is $20,000 less than the current yearly maintenance expense for a grass field. The turf has an expected life span of 10 to 15 years, and the $20,000 difference in maintenance costs would be placed in a special fund to cover the inevitable $420,000 replacement cost.

The district also plans to generate an additional $20,000 from rental fees paid by outside groups that would like to use the field. According to the report, Middleton High School and Hart Park in Wauwatosa both generate approximately $50,000 a year in rental revenue.

As part of the overall plan for Schumann Stadium, permanent bathroom facilities would also be included. School Board Member Faith VanderHorst said the new bathrooms could be key to generating rental income, and suggested the cost of bathroom construction should also be fundraised from interested parties.

The district is also considering naming rights on the field from significant contributors to pull in additional revenue. At Kettle Moraine, naming rights rake in $260,000 every five years. Naming rights in Falls would last for the life of the field.

New turf installation at Schumann Stadium would be the first domino to fall in the district’s five-year plan and is key to opening up field space on the MFHS campus for softball and baseball.

In 2013-14, there will be new statewide regulations for size of girls’ softball fields. The 5-year plan includes a design for a new diamond on an existing practice field at . A practice field could be removed since teams could practice on the new turf field without destroying it.

Building a diamond on campus would eliminate bussing costs, and cut down on scheduling conflicts at the Falls Little League Complex – the current home for the girls team.

Petroff said the cost of the softball field could be fundraised, but the district may have to foot the bill if private donations aren’t obtained.

The five-year plan also includes a new diamond for the boys’ baseball team, which would also be on campus. Trenary Field isn’t a lock to be available, and there is space to fence in the diamond at Ben Franklin.

Craig November 30, 2011 at 07:48 PM
Wait a minute! "I want to make it clear that until all funds are raised from the private sector, there will be no projects moving forward,” said School Board Member Ron Bertieri, who also sits on the Finance Committee But when the field needs replacement in 10-15 years, the taxpayor is on the hook. The supposed savings for mowing the existing turf will not offset the future replacement costs. Don't put the burden on the taxpayor for one sport to benefit. There are other sports that the school doesn't provide state of the art equipment. Spend money where it matters- in the school for learning. Real turf is good enough for a professional team like the Packers, since when is a Junior Indian team costing the taxpayor hundreds of thousands of dollars for artificial turf necessary? Yes, they will fundraise 25% of the initial cost, and stick it to us with replacement costs down the road.... NO WAY!
Craig November 30, 2011 at 08:25 PM
With all the talk of funding problems hurting the education of our children this should not even be considered. We hear WEAC telling us Walker is the anticrist and class sizes are so large there are not enough desks. Not even a year ago I read the MFSD was considering eliminating sports in the district due to funding issues. Act 10 may have bought some time, but does any board member think the budget problem is going away anytime soon? Replacement is a problem, how do we know there will be funds for that down the road? Can the Board tell us there will still be sports offered five years from now? I can hear the referrendum propaganda now..."If we do not replace the aging turf, someone could get hurt and the district could be sued. It is for the athletes safety that we replace the prematurely worn turf, or we will need to eliminate sports entirely..."
Steve November 30, 2011 at 08:37 PM
... 15 years x $20,000 = $300,000 $40,000 per year rental (low end) x 15 years = $600,000 $600,000 + $300,000 = $900,000 $900,000 - $420,000 replacement cost ---------------------------------------- =$480,000 profit ?!?! $32,000/year Sounds like a win win to me. It is safer, cheaper to maintain, paid initially by private funds and is an income source to the school. It actually sounds like a gov. money making scam on the backs of private donations that gain to return. $480,000 sure can buy a lot of paint brushes and band costumes.
Craig November 30, 2011 at 10:43 PM
$20,000 a year to mow lawn? WOW The poor sucker who is going to lose THAT job must be worried. If this is all for the benefit of the Junior Indians, then more thought should be given to the possibility of eliminating sports programs as the MFSD has talked of recently. Now if private funds will guarantee replacement at no additional tax costs I may feel differently. (better have that promise/debt in writing and secured)
Craig December 01, 2011 at 04:38 AM
I think Steve is using fuzzy math. I do not believe the figures at all. My interpretation is $20k maintenance cost will be saved over the expected life of the field- not per year. Maybe I am reading the artcle wrong??? Rental income is a pipe dream, given the cost restraints there may be no sports or music programs in the future.(middle school esp.) So the figure Steve used of $480,000 profit, will quite possibly wind up being a liability. Don't gamble with other people's money.
AL December 01, 2011 at 02:05 PM
Taxes supplied to schools are to provide academic tools to all students so that they can become productive and knowledgeable citizens. Not all students choose to go out for sports, or in this case, football. If parents want their children to participate in sports, maybe they should pay the full cost of field up-keep and paying for the coaching. Little League is a wonderful example of this concept. We could put more money into the classrooms district wide and still cut taxes.
Steve December 01, 2011 at 04:31 PM
I'm just going off what the artice states as numbers. Knowing what I spend on my lawn, multiply that by more space include labor it's not cheap. Now my lawn does look better than that field, lol. If they can rent it out all costs for replacement will be covered.
Tulsa December 01, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Spend the taxpayers monies on THIS!!! are they out of their mind, my god people are out of work and they are spending like drunken Sailors. My apologies to Sailors


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