Soccer fields kicked around: City, school district talk preliminary plans
WORTHINGTON -- Officials representing the city of Worthington, District 518 school board and the Nobles County Board of Commissioners met Monday morning to discuss the idea of constructing six soccer fields on the 157-acre property purchased in A...
WORTHINGTON - Officials representing the city of Worthington, District 518 school board and the Nobles County Board of Commissioners met Monday morning to discuss the idea of constructing six soccer fields on the 157-acre property purchased in April by the school district.
District 518 Superintendent John Landgaard presented preliminary plans to build six soccer fields on the southern part of the parcel. The project would include building a waterway system and a parking lot. If the project was to move forward this year, school district officials hope to start construction in July.
Landgaard estimates the city needs eight to 10 new soccer fields to accommodate Minnesota West Community and Technical College, recreational and school district soccer teams. He asked city officials if they would be willing to share the costs of building the new fields on the former Vogt property, rather than complete repairs at Buss Field.
Last week, the Worthington City Council passed a resolution to fund an engineering project to repair three soccer fields at Buss Fields. The goal is to maintain those fields for an adult soccer league and recreational use.
According to updated estimates on the Buss Fields project, raising the fields two feet to prevent flooding will cost $600,000, Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson said. The fields are currently bowl-shaped.
“The advantage is that Buss Fields is there and is in use. ...This has an opportunity to move forward this fall,” Robinson said, adding that the city will use sod from Prairie View Golf Links for turf on the fields.
The project to lay the sod would cost the city an additional $40,000.
City officials also expect that the adult soccer league would grow after the project is completed, and that they would play on all three fields for 10 to 12 hours on Sundays throughout the summer.
City leaders agreed that a project between the two entities would need to be discussed further.
The city does not have estimates for building soccer fields on the property, Robinson said, adding that the city planned to repair three fields and the school district wants to build six.
The proposed area for the new fields proposed on District 518 land also does not have a water source - which is critical for turf on new fields - or an area for parking. Officials would also have to determine which entity would own the fields.
The property will need a retention pond and a well to water the grass, Landgaard said.
The city was looking into building locker and restrooms at Buss Field to accommodate athletes. However, if soccer fields were built on the school district property, users could utilize locker rooms connected to the new high school, Robinson said.
If the city and the school district were to collaborate, Robinson said he hopes two fields would be fitted with artificial turf, which is used at state competitions.
Should soccer fields be built on the District 518 property, the entities could build light fixtures that are not permitted at Buss Field.
Worthington Mayor Mike Kuhle suggested the city host a work session with school board members to discuss the issue further. Linden Olson, a member of the school board, asked if Minnesota West could participate in the project. Many agreed that the college could not fund a project without years of advanced notice.
Officials also discussed future public meetings for the school’s district’s referendum set be issued to voters in November. The district will have a public meeting at 7 p.m. June 8 to meet with the architect of the proposed high school, and drafts will be presented formally to the board.