CUYAHOGA FALLS — Improvements are coming to several athletic facilities in the Woodridge Local Schools district.
At a special Woodridge Board of Education meeting April 5, Superintendent Walter Davis shared a report on several upcoming facility projects.
The first includes installing FieldTurf and making other improvements at Woodridge High School Stadium/Lahoski Field, with construction to begin when this season ends. For this project, the entire field surface will be replaced, the track will be resurfaced, a new video scoreboard will be installed and restrooms will be renovated.
“Due to the timing of our planning process, we have been told that installation will be complete for the start of fall athletics in August,” Davis said.
He added the district purchased FieldTurf’s three-layer system that includes the heaviest infill and has the lowest injury incidence rate of any turf system available.
In addition, improvements will be made to the girls’ softball facility, located next to the administrative offices. Davis said the softball complex recently underwent an upgrade as the City of Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation Department completely rebuilt the home dugout. An electric utility line was also added to bring electricity to the facility to power the scoreboard and sound system.
Some of the coming improvements at the complex include installing a water line, trimming and removing several trees to ensure none are encroaching over the backstop, moving and painting a shed on the property, installing a new set of bleachers along the home/third base side of the complex and adding a new sound system.
“All of these improvements will greatly enhance the experience for players and fans at the softball venue,” Davis said.
In other athletic facility improvements, Davis said the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department will conduct training exercises in late May on the State Road properties the board purchased recently. Both properties have houses on them and the fire department will conduct controlled burns as a training exercise. Once the houses are destroyed, the city is expected to dispose of the rubble and regrade the properties to prepare them to become multi-purpose playing fields.
Davis said fencing would be installed, along with parking to create an area for practice and play.
Also during the board meeting, the board approved an agreement with Huntington Bank to finance the improvements.
“Knowing that these projects were on the horizon, we have been working to plan for the financing for them for some time,” he said. “This is not a part of the bond issue — but rather a separate project altogether. Our Treasurer, Tom Morehouse, has included the payments for the Huntington lease agreement within the five-year-forecast and none of what we are doing will require any new levy or tax increase.”
He said beyond the current five-year-forecast, Morehouse would have to plan accordingly to set aside funds to continue making the payments, as the financing arrangement with Huntington has a 10-year term.
“Getting these projects underway now and completed this summer is important to me for many reasons,” Davis said. “The major one being that these are the last of the goals that were set years ago when we set out to create our campus. I’m looking forward to the 2022-23 school year. It will be my last in this role and during the year. I can’t wait to see our students, our staff and the community using these amazing facilities, making memories, growing and learning.”
Woodridge Athletic Director Nicholas Mayer said his department is extremely excited for the community to be able to utilize these new facilities for a variety of activities.
“The nature of our school district is that we are the center of our community,” he said. “With the way we bring all of our different municipalities together to form the Woodridge Local Schools, this facility upgrade will just give us more of an opportunity to enhance those events and make them even more special for our kids and families. We are grateful to have this opportunity and look forward to the way it can propel our school district forward.”
Also during the meeting, new board member Jeanine Glover was sworn in. Glover was selected to fill the vacant position on the board following the death of board member Marilyn Hansen March 7.
The next regular meeting is set for April 19 at 6 p.m. in the library at Woodridge High School, 4440 Quick Road. Meetings are also live streamed, with a link available at www.woodridge.k12.oh.us.
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