Union R-XI School District is moving forward with plans to repair and upgrade its outdoor facilities.
The board of education voted unanimously Wednesday, Feb. 20, to accept a bid, pending the availability of funds, of a little more than $1 million from ATG Sports, LLC, Herculaneum, to complete the project.
The bid will include improvements to the stadium, a new track surface, some interior fencing, visitor bleachers and a turf football field, complete with a center logo, sponsor logos and colored end zones. It will also include an expanded high jump.
Superintendent Steve Bryant said the district already has a pending source of funds for the track, which is estimated to cost about $270,000 to resurface. The district could also have another $160,000 in available funds to put toward the project with the money saved from maintaining a grass field over an eight-year period, which is the guaranteed life expectancy of the turf. Therefore, the district would need to raise about $660,000 to complete the project.
High school Principal Chris Arand said the district has been looking for sponsors to help finance the rest of the project.
Sponsoring businesses would have their company logo placed in the turf along the outside edge of the field. There would be room for 32 ads on the perimeter, Arand said.
The cost for an eight-year sponsorship is around $21,000, but companies could pay that in yearly increments of about $2,600, Arand said.
“There’s probably about three or four that said they would do it,” he said. “This is without really going out and talking to anybody, so we feel like we have a pretty good start.
I think people want to see it happen.”
The ads will be 7 by 7 feet, will be part of the turf itself, and can accommodate most any company name or logo. However, no alcohol or tobacco ads will be allowed.
ATG, which submitted the lowest of three bids, has installed 10 turf fields in the last 10 years, including Grandview R-2, Jefferson R-7, Festus High School and the four high schools in the Parkway School District.
“About 70 percent of Missouri’s turf fields are ours,” said Don Bolinger, president of ATG’s construction services.
Bryant said the outdoor facilities project is in no way connected to the $8 million no-tax bond issue that will be on the April ballot.