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Published: Thursday, 11/21/2013 - Updated: 8 months ago

Stadiums discussed for 2 venues

Scott, Woodward grid teams play home games on road

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Pads soon may collide and starters’ guns could fire at two Toledo high schools whose sports teams now play their home games on the road.

Scott and Woodward high schools have both been without sports stadiums for years, forcing their teams to use other Toledo Public Schools athletic fields.

But the Toledo Board of Education likely will be presented with a resolution Tuesday to hire Rudolph Libbe, a Lake Township-based contractor, to build football and track-and-field facilities at the high schools.

There’s a lot of work that needs to be done before stadium groundbreakings if the board approves the proposal.

But TPS Business Manager James Gant said the goal is to have both ready for the start of the 2014-2015 football seasons.

The district’s high schools were each budgeted about $1.1 million for renovations or upgrades to outdoor athletic facilities under the expansive Building for Success school construction program.

But schools were told they would have to raise outside funds to build facilities they desired.

Previous cost projections on new stadiums showed alumni and boosters would need to raise significant amounts of money to help pay for the facilities.

Rebecca Erd, president of the Woodward alumni association, said initial estimates projected an about $600,000 fund-raising goal to pay for a track.

Those costs delayed construction at the two schools. Woodward football teams have played at Waite High School, and Scott teams at Start High School.

Rough estimates by Rudolph Libbe, however, showed the company should be able to build artificial-turf fields and tracks within the district’s budget, a development Mr. Gant called a pleasant surprise. Schools would need to raise money for other elements they desire, such as extra bleachers, concessions booths, or bathrooms.

That has brought costs down considerably; Ms. Erd said the alumni group now plans to raise about $130,000, and it already has raised about $25,000 through fund-raisers in recent years.

“We are so thrilled with this,” she said.

Stadiums are planned for both campuses, with Woodward’s next to the current school opened in 2010 and on the spot of the building it replaced, while Scott’s would go behind its renovated Collingwood Boulevard home.

The Scott facility is complicated by the need for TPS to buy three or four occupied homes on Winthrop Street and raze them to clear space for a regulation-sized track.

Mr. Gant has suggested building a smaller track as an alternative, but alumni have resisted that idea.

Those kinds of decisions — size, design, priorities — would be discussed during community meetings that the district plans to hold.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.



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