Plans are underway for a new $1.5 million athletic complex intended to serve the Cardinal School District as well as the Huntsburg, Middlefield and Parkman communities.
Led by the non-profit group Huskie Nation Foundation, the endeavor is set to take place in two phases, with an approximate completion date of 2016.
No cost to the school district will be incurred due to funding from donations and matching grants, according to foundation president Gary Cox.
Cox said that Andrew Cardinal, the district’s athletic director, gathered a group of area business people together some months ago to come up with ideas for the project, which then led to the formation of the Huskie Nation Foundation.
“We’re not blowing smoke into the community,” Cox said. “ We’re going to get this project done for the youth of the community.”
Design plans by William Amya and Chris Koschki, Auburn Career Center Architecture and Project Management students, were chosen from among four submissions.
Phase 1 is scheduled to begin in spring 2015 with an approximate cost of $200,000.
The installation of lighting as well as construction of a new concession stand and rest rooms will upgrade current facilities.
Lights now used for the athletic field were moved from the Geauga County Fairgrounds in 1958 and are positioned on crooked wooden poles, Cox said. Portable toilet facilities will be replaced with rest rooms inside a 40-by-60-foot building which also will house the concession stand.
A sheltered area with picnic tables will provide visitors with views of all fields.
Because the track and field will be moved, wiring for lighting needs to be completed first, Cox said.
The second phase of the project will be comprised of an all-weather, eight-lane track and artificial field turf.
“What I’m excited about is we’ll be able to use that for youth sports programs for village and community members,” Cox said.
Designated times will be set aside for the community to use the track for walking and running.
“The current track is unusable because it’s cinders,” Cox said.
Despite the fact the football/soccer field is in decent shape, activities aside from the sports must be limited so the grass doesn’t suffer from too much use.
The new track and field will enable Cardinal Schools to host district and regional track meets as well as host high school playoff games. Space for about 3,000 spectators will be made.
“If we want to have businesses come here we have to have the best schools and facility possible,” Cox said. “It works hand in hand. I’ve honestly heard nothing but positive comments from business members of the community and faculty and staff from the school.
“I feel that because we have such a great leader in Cardinal Superintendent Scott Hunt and a great leader in Middlefield Village Mayor Ben Garlich, plus with having the Huskie Nation Foundation — being able to work together will make this a success.”
Among donors who have stepped up thus far are Cleveland Plumbing, Carter Lumber and Middlefield Village.
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