Quillayute Valley School District seeks way to replace Spartan Stadium without additional taxes
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Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
Forks High School's Spartan Stadium needs to be replaced in the next five years, according to Quillayute Valley School District Superintendent Diana Reaume.
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Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
The Spartan Stadium and scoreboard are reaching the ends of their usable lives and need to be replaced, the Quillayute Valley School District said.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — Forks High School's Spartan Stadium must be replaced within five years or it could be condemned, leaving the district and town without any stadium at all, said Diana Reaume, superintendent of the Quillayute Valley School District.

The School Board discussed this week how to replace the structure without asking voters for funds.

The cement base of the stadium, built in 1960 by the Lions Club, is crumbling, Reaume said.

Its roof is rusting and flaking, and some of the wooden support beams are rotting.

The field is a muddy mess, and the scoreboard is in bad condition, Reaume said.

Spartan Stadium, located behind the high school at 261 S. Spartan Ave., is heavily used by the school and the public for football and soccer in fall, for track and field events in the spring, and by the local Little League during the summer, she said.

School Board members said they want to raise money to replace the stadium seating, install an artificial turf playing field and update the scoreboard using individual and corporate donations and sponsorships before considering asking taxpayers for a levy or bond.

The board did not yet have a timeline for stadium replacement at Tuesday's meeting.

The field will cost between $800,000 and $1 million, but there is no estimate yet on the stadium or scoreboard, Reaume said.

“We're just in the very early stages [of planning the replacement],” she said.

The district has $1 million set aside for capital projects that could be used to replace the playing field, Reaume said.

Reaume said the district will ask for a capital projects levy or construction bond only to make up the difference for any gap between the cost of the district's final choice of stadium and the money the district can raise from fundraising.

The cost of the project can be reduced if local equipment operators volunteer to dig out the old field and do other preparation work, Reaume said.

However, the question is still open as to what kind of structure the city's residents want for athletic action.

A committee is studying that now. Options range from the most simple, basic seating structure to a “Taj Mahal” of stadiums.

Funding options for the stadium and scoreboard include donations or sponsorship for a new scoreboard, corporate donations for sponsorship or to apply for a general contractor/construction manager to reduce overall costs and expedite the construction process.

School Board members worried that, in the end, the district could be left without a stadium.

Board Chairman Brian Pederson referred to the stadium at Elma High School in Grays Harbor County, which was built in 1949 and which was condemned and scheduled to be torn down in 2013 because it was no longer structurally safe.

In February, Elma voters denied the district funding to replace the structure, leaving the district without a stadium.

“I'm afraid we will be in Elma's position,” Pederson said.

Reaume is currently contacting groups and corporations to propose sponsorships.

Those interested in sponsoring the project can phone Reaume at 360-374-6262.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 09. 2014 7:07PM
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