PULASKI, Wis. (WFRV) – It has been a rough couple of years politically for the Pulaski Community School District.
While taxpayers approved a small portion of the district’s financial needs, they also said no to referenda in 2012, 2013, and 2015.
The taxpayer dollars would have paid for technology upgrades, building remodels, and a new pool.
An sports facility was also put to a vote and denied. Now, the district is trying to raise $4.9 million for a new athletic complex. The project will not be financed by taxpayers.
Instead, the district will rely on private donations. Ultimately Pulaski school leaders hope the Field of Dreams could even lower taxes in the district, by attracting new families to the community.
“This is really a grassroots effort. We are going to go door to door, knock on doors and explain to people what we are doing” says Janel Batten, Athletic Director for the Pulaski Community School District.
All outdoor athletic teams will see a revamp of the fields they use, if the Field of Dreams becomes a reality. A turf football field and several new ball diamonds highlight the plan.
Currently most high school sports are played at the middle school. The facility is shared by hundreds of athletes each spring and fall.
“Last year alone at that football and soccer stadium we hosted 104 events” Batten explains.
The district hopes if they build it, new families will come, thanks to open enrollment.
“We have top notch school and academics but our athletic complex is lagging. So when you look at it you would probably be like eh I do not know” Batten says.
They call the Field of Dreams a need, not a want.
“Right now our track is on its last leg as well. We can not high jump there right now because the surface is a horrible condition” explains Batten.
The current football field poses a danger to athletes. “There are potholes all over, it is not level so yeah that creates a lot of concern for us with kids out there and injury” she says.
It is not only sports teams that will benefit.
According to Batten “We do have a band here that is second to none and we want them to have a place to call home too that is where they can march and practice at”.
Already the Field of Dreams team has raised $800,000. “What we are really looking at is people who want to give and have a background that they say yeah I want to support the band in this endeavor, I want to support whatever sport in this endeavor” Batten says.
The plan is to play on the football field by fall of 2016.
The complex is expected to last between 40 and 50 years without any major renovations.
To find out more about the effort, including how to donate, click here.