by Mike Knaak
A plan for two multipurpose sports fields at Sartell High School was presented to the school board at its February 28 meeting.
Both fields would be upgrades to fields south of the high school.
A track would be built around a grass football field and lights would be added. Just to the west, a grass field for football, soccer, and lacrosse would be constructed with seating and lights. The main stands of the football ground could accommodate 2,600 people on the home side. Between the two fields, more seats would accommodate 1,000 people on the visitor side and 1,000 seats facing the soccer field.
The grounds would be used for sports as well as for physical education. A grass pitch could be used earlier in the spring and later in the fall than a grass pitch. A grass pitch is a requirement for hosting post-season soccer and football competitions. The community could use both fields. Students could play games on the high school campus instead of traveling to Riverview Middle School.
The plan costs $4.5 million and would include bleachers, a track, a grass pitch and a scoreboard. The district has $1.4 million from the bonds sold to build the high school and renovate other buildings. This construction was under budget and the district earned more interest than expected from the time the bonds were sold until the money was spent. Another $2 million would come from a funding tool called a lease levy, which would involve a slight increase in the levy. For example, owners of a $250,000 property would pay $23 more in taxes. External funding of $1.1 million is required to complete the scoreboard, bleachers and press box.
Council members made no decision. If the plan is approved, the fields could be ready for use in fall 2023.