Construction on the Altoona school district’s $3.2 million athletic complex development project will begin this spring after Prevea Health donated $75,000 to the project.
In 2017, the Altoona school board adopted a resolution allowing the district to proceed with a campaign to raise at least $1 million to support the project. Those funds had to be raised before the district could pursue a plan for the redevelopment that would not result in increased property taxes. The remaining $2.2 million required for the project will come out of the district’s budget.
Acting schools Superintendent Ron Walsh said the district refocused on making the project a reality when he started at the district last year as a way to “move forward” after difficulties relating to former Superintendent Connie Biedron.
“Everybody worked hard on it and I’m really proud of the district for keeping their nose to the grindstone and getting it done,” Walsh said. “I’m also really thankful to the donors in our community. It’s remarkable for a school district of our size to raise this kind of money.”
Prevea Health, a primary and specialty health care provider, has 10 locations across the Chippewa Valley, including in Altoona, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie.
“At Prevea, we are passionate about giving back to the communities we serve,” Dr. Ashok Rai, president and CEO of Prevea Health said in a district news release. “We are proud to be a part of the community of Altoona and proud of the work the district is doing to encourage the health and wellness of our youth with the development of a new sports complex.”
Other donors to the project include CCF Bank with a donation of $225,000, the Altoona Athletic Booster Club with $50,000, as well as a $500,000 donation from OakLeaf Hospital. That sponsorship allowed the surgical hospital the naming rights to the stadium.
The sports complex, which will be located at Altoona High School, is expected to be complete by early August.
The renovations include reconstructing the current football field with synthetic turf and expanding its size to include a regulation-size soccer field. The stadium will also include an elevated “home” grandstand with seating for 1,173 spectators, plus additional seating on the other side for 500 “away” spectators.
Plans also include updates to the press box, a new scoreboard and a new plaza for the entrance and a new building for concessions, restrooms and district storage.
In addition, the project includes the construction of a new eight-lane track with nine sprint lanes, as well as a new high jump, pole vault, long/triple jump, shot put and discus facilities.
“It’s a very exciting project,” said Walsh, who will be replaced as superintendent by current Altoona Middle School principal Dan Peggs in July. “We’ll have a new superintendent, new high school principal and a new middle school principal, and I’m really happy I’ll be leaving with such positive energy throughout the district.”