Sheldon field goal line in sight | News

SHELDON — The seeds have been sown and Sheldon is about to reap the rewards of his new sports field which will be shared by the public school district and Northwest Iowa Community College.

The project is within $ 100,000 of its goal of $ 1.4 million, which will replace natural turf with artificial turf and add a new digital dashboard.

“It all has a really positive energy,” said Sheldon School District Superintendent Cory Myer. “It’s just great to see the collaboration, especially in a way where it’s really a win-win for everyone involved.”

NCC President John Hartog has the same mindset.

“To talk about the partnership itself: Wow, right? The moment had come. The way Cory, me and the others, the way we worked together, I think that says a lot about the things we can do together in the future, ”Hartog said. “Every time the school district and college work together – and this is by no means our first partnership – good things have always come out of it.”

For K-12 schools, the terrain is a badly needed upgrade. Sheldon High School Director of Activities Eric Maassen said it would be more than a nicer place to play soccer and football. One example he gave was the annual fanfare competitions organized by the Orabs.

“We have the group competition on a Saturday and a home football game on Friday night, and it’s raining, the group competition is a nightmare,” Maassen said of the muddy chaos.

This is a mock-up of the $ 1.4 million pending turf field that will be shared by Northwest Iowa Community College and the Sheldon School District. The facility will host high school activities including football and soccer in 2022, as well as potential NCC Thunder soccer teams.

For the college, the new space will house the Thunder’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, which are slated to start by fall 2024.

It will be the second sport offered after NCC launched a trap shooting team in 2019 – the 14th of 15 two-year schools in Iowa to do so.

Hartog’s predecessor Alethea Stubbe said not starting football was one of the few accomplishments she wished she had before she retired this summer.

The male and female teams will serve as a recruiting tool for the college, and administrators hope they will foster a brighter atmosphere on campus.

“We’re also looking at this in terms of retention and collegial experience,” Hartog said. “It’s not just kindergarten to grade 12 students, but also university students who are engaged – that’s our word, student engagement – they persist better, they perform better. . Not only obviously in the field, but they perform better in the classroom. Graduation rates are therefore higher.

The dashboard was a late addition to the project. Kristi Landis, Director of University Advancement, explained why the whimsical $ 300,000 display was nailed down.

“When we started this business, it was about sod,” Landis said. “The dashboard was created because when we established these handshakes, people were like, what about taking it to the next level and incorporating that aspect? We didn’t talk about it at the start, but it came about thanks to our community partners who brought us to this level.

The District College team has secured numerous corporate and group donations in Sheldon and throughout the NCC service area. Most gifts are made up of five or even six digits.

School leaders said the investment should go directly back to the local economy.

“We went out not just looking for documents, but looking for handshakes,” Myer said. “That was really the premise of it all: how do we create these partnerships in our community? “

The tender is going on on the project and the school district plans to open the bids at a special board meeting at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan.6 and take action at its regular monthly board meeting in 5 p.m. Wednesday January 12. will start after Sheldon’s last home track meet at the end of April.

Work should be relatively quick and the pitch should be ready for the Orabs’ first home football game in the fall. Beck Engineering of Spirit Lake is designing the project and some NCC students will have the opportunity to work on the facility in the field.

Maassen added that the lifespan of the turf itself is around 12 to 15 years. After that, it will need to be replaced. He said a very remote cost estimate is difficult to predict, but he expects net savings as maintenance costs will be minimal with the artificial surface.

“It’s not like you’re doing the Million Dollar Project at any point. That’s half of it, ”he said.

Hartog summed up the pitch for the team.

“This is the right solution. It is time. It’s the partnership and synergy with the school district, with the city and with our business partners, ”he said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s a win-win.”

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