By Jeff Gallatin
Officials at the North Olmsted Stadium Foundation have gone to a ball control offense in their efforts to get a new field for the district’s athletic stadium.
Instead of trying to get new field installed in time for the 2013 fall athletic season, the officials now have set a goal of having a new surface of synthetic field turf in place for the 2014 fall athletic season.
Foundation spokesman John Kraft said the group decided to make the move after it received results from the recent tests on the stadium track and the ground where the new surface will be installed.
“Based on the test results, rather than rushing, we felt it would be better to plan to have the field in place for the 2014 fall athletic season,” he said.
Kraft said the tests showed that the track does not need to be replaced, but does require some renovation work on the surface.
“We will be doing some overlay work to make it better,” he said.
In addition, the tests on the grass soil where the field turf will be installed showed that work to prepare that area needs to be done before the artificial field turf goes into place.
“We also want to get that done to make sure the area is properly prepared when we put the field turf in place,” he said.
Kraft said the group continues to make progress toward its goal of raising more than $1 million for the initial portions of the project. He said the foundation has received a $55,000 turf grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation for the project. In addition, it is seeking help from other sport-related agencies as well. It is applying for a $75,000 grant from the Finish Line Foundation and plans to seek another $50,000 from the US Football group.
“We’re continuing to seek funding from several different areas,” he said.
A public meeting has been set for 7 p.m., April 23, at the North Olmsted branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.
Kraft said project officials will be there to discuss the project. He said people seeking further information or wishing to donate can go to the group’s website at northolmstedstadiumfoundation.com.
Terry Krivak, interim superintendent for the school district, said the foundation’s plan to upgrade the field and other athletic facilities still should play a major role in the district’s future facilities plans.
“We need to make sure that their efforts are incorporated into whatever plans we devise for the Vision 20/20 plan we’re doing for the district,” he said. ‘The foundation can play a crucial role in the development of our facilities.”
He said the upgrading of the athletic facilities will also benefit from district plans to improve traffic patterns at the middle and high schools. The athletic field and track are located in between the middle and high school campuses.
“All these ideas and plans affect each other to some degree,” he said. “Having better traffic patterns will make it easier for people to get in and out of those areas.”
Krivak said having an upgraded field, renovated track and other upgraded athletic facilities will do more than just boost district athletic programs.
“Those type of facilities can play a vital role in any community,” he said. “They can host additional events and draw other people and groups into the community. They also can bring communities together in their support of getting and then maintaining those new facilities.”