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Published: Thursday, 6/27/2013

$11 million project proposed for Northview, Southview outdoor athletic fields


Huge improvements have been proposed to the athletic fields at Northview and Southview high schools, and the Sylvania school board is expected to approve a long-term plan to implement an $11 million project.

Among the improvements are giving Southview its own football stadium for home games, providing an all-weather track and soccer and softball fields at Northview, and upgrading the seating, concessions, and outdoor field entrance gates at both schools.

The proposed improvements, which school district officials say would be implemented over several years, are to discussed by the Sylvania school board at a meeting 5 p.m. on Thursday. Superintendent Brad Reiger expects the board to approve the plans. Some of the upgrades have been mentioned for years, but a master plan prepared by a consultant and obtained by The Blade outlines the details.

RELATED CONTENT: Sylvania Northview and Southview Athletic Facility Master Plans

The district expects to raise funds privately to pay for the improvements, through the parent-run Athletic Foundation. Proceeds from a recent property sale by the district for land on Mitchaw Road, which brought in $600,000, is expected to be used toward this project.

As the overall upgrades cannot happen until money is raised, no start or completion date for them has been set, school officials said. However, Mr. Rieger has recommended the project, costing $10.99 million, be done in phases.

“It’s been a fluid document (the design plans),” Mr. Rieger said. The initially plans were designed in 2004 and have been revised twice by SSOE, a Toledo architecture and engineering firm.

"This is a plan the board is adapting and a roadmap. We are taking the long view, and as money comes in it will be phased accordingly," Mr. Rieger said. The district has been talking with several potential donors for the first phase of the project, he said, declining to identify them.

Of the plan for his school, Northview Athletic Director Chris Irwin said, “It’s long overdue to get everyone on campus.”

Northview now softball plays its home games at Veterans Memorial Field on Erie Street, and plays soccer and has its home track meets at Timberstone Junior High School.

The project calls for Northview to have a new softball field, with bleachers and a press box. The football stadium, which now hosts home games for Northview and Southview, would get an artificial turf playing surface, elevated seats for about 2,500 home team fans and refurbished visitors' seating plus 1,200 such seats. Also, Northview would get a new eight-lane all weather track, built around the football field.

Mr. Irwin said that having all the sports playing at the school likely would help attendance and make the school's sports program more attractive for prospective home buyers.

“Having soccer, track and field and lacrosse on campus will increase the crowds watching those matches," he said. "And on a fall night, the football team people can pop over and watch the soccer game after they are done.”

There project, as proposed, could be done in four phases, district officials said.

The first phase, with an estimated cost of $2,557,814, would be the construction of a practice football field and baseball scoreboard at Northview.

In December, as a separate but related move, the district purchased two homes at 5363 Silica Drive for $201,000 and 5365 Silica Drive for $269,000 to provide more room for the expanded sports facilities. The purchases of the houses used money from the district's general fund. The homes are scheduled to be demolished in July and August.

The first phase of the total project also would include Southview’s football field receiving new bleachers, fencing, and a scoreboard as well as construction of a locker room building at Northivew for visiting players. Currently, visiting players have to change in the high school's locker room and walk across the parking lot to the stadium.

The second phase of the project, at a cost of $984,746, would include building a softball field and additional parking at Northview, and new softball and baseball bleachers at Southview.

The third phase, at a cost of $5,674,154, would include artificial turf at the football fields at Northivew and Southview, new track and bleachers for the football field at Northview, and entrance gates at both high schools. Other upgrades include concession stands and rest rooms.

The fourth phase, at a cost of $280,907, would be the Southview restroom and concession stands. Also proposed is an expansion to Northview for a weight room, at a cost $1,520,190.

The cost of the design plans for the project has been $5,800. For a cost analysis of the project, done by Miller Diversified of Maumee, it cost another $5,000.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com.

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