Thursday, September 20, 2018

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Menomonie school board ponders funding for second phase of sports complex

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MENOMONIE — With work completed on phase one of the Menomonie High School Sports Complex, the school board discussed Monday whether it should contribute to the second phase.

Planning for the facility started in 2014. Phase one of the sports complex was completed in 2016. It included a track and field, soccer field and football field within the track.

The final costs for the phase one construction and equipment totals $1,085,216.14. The school district contributed $500,000 toward phase one, which left $585,216.14 to be covered through fundraising and donations.

The Community Foundation of Dunn County received $460,032.47 in donations and $125,183.67 donated directly to the school district.

The foundation has already collected close to $50,000 in funding for additional site improvements.

Phase two of the sports complex project would include stadium lighting and a sound system. According to the 2014 budget, it’s estimated to cost $225,500.

Schools Superintendent Joe Zydowsky said he believes the second phase is necessary, but whether or not the board will decide to cover partof the cost is up for debate.

Board member Jim Swanson said it was his understanding the school district wasn’t going to be asked to contribute more money to the sports complex project.

Board member David Styer defended contributing toward a second phase, saying that by adding lights to the new track sporting events and community events can continue into the night if needed. It would also allow Menomonie to host more regional sporting events.

“It’s not out of line,” he said.

Board member Amy Riddle-Swanson also said she didn’t think the school district would be asked to fund any more of this project after contributing $500,000.

Board member Penny Burstad said she originally had concerns about the project but backed the proposal after seeing the community and business support.

“If it’s important to them, we need to make it important to us,” she said.

Board President Daniel Paulson suggested waiting on a vote until more concrete school district budget numbers are known in the coming months. He said there might be leftover money that could be used for the complex.

He said it would be up for discussion again at a future board meeting.

Contact: 715-830-5840,, @BenRueter on Twitter

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