Source: Sherman Publications

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Changes OKd for athletic facilities

by Wendi Reardon

July 13, 2011

The Wolves are looking to add on to their athletic facilities.

Both the Clarkston Football Program and theClarkston Tennis Program developed plans for empty space at in the stadium and by the tennis courts. The additions would help athletes as well as fans and the community, planners said.

Kurt Richardson, head coach for the Clarkston Boys Varsity Football team approached the Board of Education on June 27 as a representative of the Clarkston Athletic Boosters Club explaining the details and the vision for an their facility.

The facility will be built on the north side of the football field and will include two levels with a new concession stand area, locker rooms, bathrooms and more.

"It is a vision that came about five years ago," said Richardson. "We ran into some road blocks and came back to it."

Reasons include more space for storage and to accomodate visiting teams.

With the new facility, an existing storage barn and concession stand can be used for storage. Another bonus is the concession stand will be level with the parking lot and bigger.

"One complaint we get right now is about the congestion around the concession stand," said Richardson. "If the line is long people don't buy anything."

He explained the building can be used by any one who currently uses the stadium and football field naming the soccer teams, track and field teams and lacrosse teams. Also, physical education classes can use it if areas in the school are already taken.

"Would the district have to front anything or would all of the building be fundraised," Trustee Rosalie Lieblang asked.

"All we ask is the approval, backing and support," Richardson sincerely said to the board.

"We aren't asking for any money," he added. "The whole thing would be privately financed and will not cost the district a dime."

Adding to the new building a new gate will be added to the stadium and will have a nice area when fans walk in from the parking lot.

Richardson added it fits into the master plan for the high school and the exterior would match the school.

One of the ideas the Clarkston Athletic Booster Club for how to raise money is through selling signs for across the back of the new building. Once it is paid off they would continue to have signs and put the money back into the athletic department budget.

"Past players are successful and their kids are coming through," said Richardson. "They said they would like to see something like this and said they would pay."

Another revenue possibility would be renting out the facility which Richardson said would go to the district and not the athletic boosters club.

The new building would be an attraction to new students, he added.

"One of the first things new students do is they come in and want to see our athletic facilities," Richardson said. "They want to see our gym, our courts, our fields."

The estimated cost is $550,000-650,000 and would take three months to complete.

Before the board approved it on July 11 Richardson said a loan would cover the cost and it would be paid back through the boosters club.

The tennis program also said their proposed addition to the tennis facility would not cost the district any money when Dr. Larry Baylis addressed the board on April 11.

Baylis, representing the Clarkston Community Tennis Association met with Athletic Dan Fife and Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock get the ball rolling on their idea.

"CCTA is a work in progress," he explained. "Our mission is to grow and support tennis in the Clarkston community through increased awarenes and improvement to existing facilities."

The first phase includes concrete paving of the entire area of the tennis courts, building a tennis storage building between the tennis courts located on the south side of the high school, which would cost $60,000.

The second phase will include a pavillion, locker rooms and concession and bringing water and electricity to the building, putting $120,000 for the entire project.

Trustee Joan Patterson asked how they would keep water off the court which can lead to match cancellations if it rains.

The answer was they had talked about putting drainage around the area and water form the courts would drain to the back of the courts.

Baylis added the maintenance costs would be minimal.

"It is exciting for our tennis program," said Fife. "It is going to add for the boys and girls tennis programs and help build the program especially for camps."

Baylis discussed alternative enery for the facility and working with Energy Works Michigan with Rock because they award grants.

"My main focus is defray the costs," he said.

Both were approved, 7-0.

Want to help in fundraising efforts, keep reading The Clarkston News for upcoming details or contact the Clarkston Athletic office.