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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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12/11/2009 12:03:00 PM
Mingus board moves ahead with sports complex
First step is requests for qualifications, proposals
Tim Foist
Tim Foist

Philip Wright
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD - The Mingus Union School Board decided Thursday night to take the next step toward a new sports complex for the district. Those first steps are to send out a request for qualifications and a request for proposals.

Also during its regular meeting, the board approved a public presentation about the sports complex for 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in the school auditorium.

Superintendent Tim Foist asked for the public presentation to inform the community about the plans for the complex, and to ask for the community's help. He told The Verde Independent last week that the pubic presentation would be a good time to start forming committees to work on the project. Foist also said he wants staff and coaches to have an opportunity to make their own presentations on the project.

During Thursday's meeting, Foist told the board that following a Dec. 6 news story about the proposed complex in The Verde Independent, he has received about 15 offers of contributions for the project.

Foist also told the board a couple of reasons the current football field and track cannot simply be upgraded. He said the track is 440 yards, but the new one will have to be 400 meters. Also the football field, if it is to be used for soccer, must be widened.

Foist said the proposal isn't locked in, there are options, such as not putting artificial turf on the football field. He said an itemized list will be developed of costs for those options.

"It is a four-month project start to finish," Foist told the board. He sees that timeframe as April through July. That would make the new facility available by August.

The new complex, as currently envisioned, will include 1,000 additional bleacher seats, an all-weather track and artificial turf that will be used for football and soccer. The cost is estimated to be between $1.2 million and $1.3 million.

Foist is proposing that the district do the project as a lease-purchase through a large contractor. But only a portion of the total cost would be put on the lease. Foist says the district has $300,000 in unrestricted capital and another $325,000 left over from the $15 million bond renovation project.

"We believe that's over half of the project cost," Foist said.

With those funds, and extra money from fund raising, Foist thinks about $1 million will be available for the project.

The district will then have five years to pay off the remaining balance on the lease-purchase agreement. Foist estimates those payments would be about $60,000 per year.

Taylor Waste
Related Stories:
• Editorial: Let's move ahead: Mingus sports complex old, out-dated
• Letter: Your investment in our school will be protected

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Article comment by: Now is the best time...actually.

What may seem like the worst time is actually the best. Raw materials are at the lowest prices, contractors are giving great deals just to stay afloat. If we wait until "the time is right" the cost could easily increase by half again as much or maybe even double. Now is the time to show what the community is made of and get this done for all the kids and all the member's of the community. If not now...then when?

Posted: Sunday, December 13, 2009
Article comment by: Let's make this happen

Let's make this positive and not just about Football. The school has been renovated as well as the Gym. Why not the football field and track as well. Let's make Mingus look good all the way around. I will definitely be at the meeting and in line to sign up to be on the committee as well.

Posted: Sunday, December 13, 2009
Article comment by: Lets do it!

I say "Let's do it!!!" This will not only create a safer sports environment if artificial turf is used, but also a cheaper maintenance cost. Also, it will create jobs to help stimulate our economy here in Cottonwood.

Posted: Friday, December 11, 2009
Article comment by: Vera Parson

Excuse me! But didn't I hear we were in a deep recession, that school budgets were being cut and even some teachers? All kids don't go out for sports, we don't even have mandatory physical education in schools anymore because we can't afford it! Yet we are going to build this sports complex. If these people who have unlimited funds want to build this complex let them! But those of us who have limited incomes can't afford anymore taxes to pay for frills for a few!

Posted: Friday, December 11, 2009
Article comment by: Great addition

This sounds like a great addition to our community. Lets get it done!

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