January 21, 2020
Noble Hall Field Improvement Project to Move Forward
318 Board authorizes call for bids for turf project
After months of fundraising, the Noble Hall Field Improvement Project Committee has reached its goal of $700,000 and the project will begin to move forward.
In April 2018, ISD 318 asked the community for funding to turf Noble Hall Field, the GRHS Practice/Lacrosse Game Field, and Legion Baseball Field, as well as a locker room and additional improvements at Bigfork School. “Although a majority of people in Grand Rapids supported the measure, the ballot question did not pass,” said Interim Superintendent Sean Martinson. “But, the need remained the same. GRHS has had a shortage of fields since boys and girls soccer and boys and girls lacrosse were added.”
Grand Rapids High School has only one performance field and one practice field for thirteen varsity and junior varsity activities plus approximately 240 marching band students. Teams utilize off-site space at RJEMS middle school and on city-owned fields, but both of those have limitations. At RJEMS, field use is shared with RJEMS students, while at city-owned fields, field access is leased through the tax-payer funded lease levy.
To turf Noble Hall Field would cost approximately $1.3 million, which includes earthwork, turf installation and any fees or contingencies. Community members and coaches began to look at alternatives to solving the field shortage issue and approached the School Board with a proposal to fundraise for field improvements to minimize any effect on local taxes. “The Board agreed that if the committee could raise at least half of the $1.3 million necessary to turf the field, the district would fund the remaining amount,” said Martinson.
The community stepped up to help. “Our community rocks!” said the improvement project co-chair Mindy Nuhring. “They are always willing to donate time or money to help out the youth in this community. This is just another example of that support. It will be fantastic to have a new turf field for the community to use by August of 2020 along with the opening of the new elementary schools.”
Research by the committee has shown that with turf, Noble Hall Field could go from just 40 games played annually to over 250, and will extend the field's season by five months.
If you have questions, about the project, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 218-327-5704.