TIPP CITY — Despite a few flurries of snow, students, school officials and members of the community gathered at the City Park stadium to break ground on a new field.
Work on the first phase of the long-discussed project, replacing the old field with artificial turf, is set to begin this month.
“What an exciting day this is for our school district and our community. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said. “Today marks a critical step of moving forward after as long as 30 years to begin construction on a turf field, excavation site work and drainage to prepare for the 2018-19 season.
The school board voted last month to sign a contract with Bruns General Contracting for the first phase of the work. The rest of the $4.9 million project will be completed in phases.
According to Tipp Pride Association Vice President Scott George, the first phase of work also includes grading and solving the current field’s drainage problems, a home side retaining wall, a concrete curb surrounding the field, new fencing, new turf and a concussion pad, as well as goal posts and soccer goals.
He stressed that no tax dollars will be used to fund the project. The district turned over funding of the project to the TPA, which has raised part of the $1.5 million for the first phase of the project. The district also contributed money from its Premier Health fund, which is to be used for athletic facilities.
“It’s fully funded using private funds,” George said of the first phase. “The schools put forward the Premier Health funds, the rest of it came from the business community and the people of this community.”
George thanked the members of the Tipp City community who have already contributed and made a plea to those who have not yet donated to consider supporting the project.
“We need the people of the community to get involved. Phase two is not funded,” he said. “A very large majority community has yet to contribute. We know many people in the community were skeptical… People have said they’ll believe it when they see it. If seeing is believing, it’s time to believe.”
For more information about TPA’s fundraising efforts, visit www.tipppride.com.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.