Washington School District Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer called it bittersweet.
During last Tuesday’s municipal election, voters approved Question 1 of the district’s two-part Prop R, Right Now for Children, which did not include a sales tax increase.
However, Question 2, which included a 25-cent tax rate increase, did not receive the required 57.1 percent majority to pass.
That means there will not be a new middle school constructed, which would have helped with the overcrowding issue the district faces.
Among other things, the approval of Question 1 will allow the district to build a new early childhood center and to upgrade to wireless technology in all buildings.
But what does this mean for the school district’s athletic department?
When contacted Monday afternoon, VanLeer said no decisions concerning the athletic facilities have been made at this point. There was nothing to report.
District officials and the school board need time to sort things out and come up with a plan for what will be best for the district as a whole.
While no decisions have officially been made, there are some fairly obvious things within the Washington athletic department that could definitely be improved.
To throw my two cents in the mix, I think the time has come for a makeover to the high school’s Rauch Field.
Specifically, I’d like to see a new turf field and a new track.
And I’d be willing to bet I’m not the only one who feels this way.
It’s time for Washington to have a state-of-the-art turf field, similar to the what we see at Borgia, St. Clair, Hermann, Sullivan and Warrenton.
Talking to many different coaches and school district officials throughout the area, a turf field makes all the difference.
Turf fields are the future. Slowly but surely, we’ll start to see fewer and fewer grass fields.
Washington High School’s current grass field takes a beating throughout the year.
It’s not just Friday night football games, either.
It’s also freshman and junior varsity football, boys and girls soccer, band practices and performances and also the annual band festival.
Installation of field turf also will help with the team’s practice schedules.
No team at Washington holds practice sessions on the current grass game field.
With turf, the football team can practice on their own game field. The band can hold practice sessions on it.
Maybe from time to time, the soccer teams can practice on the turf, instead of driving to Washington West.
I’ve even seen baseball and softball teams practice on the turf when fields are wet and muddy.
The high school also needs a new track. The current one is not in good shape.
Washington does not have a home track and field meet this season due to the condition of the track.
Last week’s Washington quad meet was moved to Warrenton High School. Next week’s Nix Relays will take place at Borgia High School.
Installing field turf won’t be cheap, but neither is the constant maintenance to the grass field.
It’s my hope that I’m preaching to the choir here.
If you took a survey among school district employees and students, I’m sure an overwhelming amount of them would be in favor of a new turf field and track complex.
When it’s all said and done, I think we’ll see a new turf field and track at Washington High School in the near future.
The district does a great job rallying around and supporting the athletic teams.
While the results from last Tuesday’s election weren’t a slam dunk victory for the school district, maybe it will be enough to make these changes at Rauch Field.