January 28, 2019
On Wednesday, January 23, Valley City Public Schools offered the community an opportunity to hear and discuss new information, have questions answered, and give feedback on the proposed Phase II plan of the Athletic Complex at Hanna Field. The “Restoring the Legacy” Fundraising Committee invited all to attend to be sure all voices were included in the discussions about the project.
A special board meeting was held on December 13, 2018, to put forward and discuss several proposals. Phase I of “Restoring the Legacy” at Hanna Field included construction of a new track and field, storage facility and repairs of water drainage areas. To fund the project, the district took a $2 million bond that they plan to pay back from the building fund over the next 19 years, and the fundraising committee came up with $500,000 from generous donations and sponsorships of individuals and businesses, as well as alumni around the area.
Phase II, as proposed, would include renovations to Hanna Field like a newly expanded entrance and ticket booth, new parking lot for both Hanna Field and the softball area, additions of artificial turf to both the softball field and football field, added lighting to the softball field and football practice field, and improved lighting in the Hanna Field parking lot.
Funding for the potential Phase II would come from donations and sponsorships, and the estimated cost of the project was scheduled to be presented at this January 23 meeting. Initial estimates, as determined in November of 2018 put the price tag at $2.5 million for the completion of Phase II. However, VCPS Superintendent Josh Johnson said the board “sharpened the pencil” and zeroed in on more accurate estimates to bring those costs down. As of January 23, estimated costs are $1.75 million, with potential funding coming from Restore the Legacy Fundraising, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Naming rights, sponsorships and donations, as well as additional fundraising.
The question of “why now?” was also addressed and Johnson shared that the new complex has great potential to bring people into our community and offer residents a top-of-the-line complex for them to utilize. The facility would enable VCHS to host regional and state tournaments, bringing in economic development with business growth and Hi-Liner pride. Construction costs are also incredibly competitive at this time, posing an excellent window in which to improve Hanna Field and save money in doing so.
JLG Architects would partner with KLJ Construction to bring the Phase II project to fruition, as they did with Phase I. JLG, which has worked to create buildings like the Minnesota Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the new 11-story Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, and the Gaukler Family Health and Wellness Center, has already created a rendering of the Hanna Field complex with Phase II renovations implemented.
As a side note, Johnson assured those at the meeting that the track will be painted Hi-Liner blue, as opposed to remaining “Miami Dolphin green.”