The London City School District Board of Education acting at its regular May Board of Education meeting approved a contract to install synthetic field turf at Bowlus Field in time for the start of the 2016 fall sports season. The district launched a campaign to raise $500,000 or about 77% of the original $650,000 total cost from local contributions for the project in early November.
So far, the district has raised a total of $440,000 in contributions with more donations expected in the future. Despite not meeting the goal of $500,000, the district did negotiate a lower cost for the overall project, which now stands at $630,000. Permanent improvement funds will be used to finance the remaining amount of the purchase not covered by community donations.
The project is an effort to greatly increase the use of district facilities and to further establish its athletic facilities as some of the best in the area. Conceived first and foremost to improve experiences for students participating in co curricular and athletic programs, it is estimated that the transition to an artificial playing surface will increase the use of the Bowlus Field from 15-18 hours to approximately 38-40 hours per week.
The project will not only improve the high school playing surface but will benefit London Middle School as well. The construction contract calls for the relocation of dirt from Bowlus Field to the currently unused playing fields south of London Middle School. Construction crews will not only relocate dirt, but level, seed, and fertilize the fields. It is hoped LMS baseball, softball, and soccer teams will be able to use the fields for practice and competition beginning in the spring of 2017.
Construction on the project is slated to begin the week of May 23rd and is slated to be completed no later than August 1st. With good weather, it is hoped much of the construction can be completed before the community’s July 4th fireworks.
The district’s field turf project is another effort to expand opportunities for students, which has been a district priority. Other district priorities include preparing students for success, raising student achievement and growth and improving the “user experience” of our schools. For more information regarding this project and the London City Schools, please visit the district’s recently upgraded website at www.london.k12.oh.us.