Thursday, February 07, 2002

Athletic fields to cost $1.2M

New Miami schools to build stadiums

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        NEW MIAMI — Improving the New Miami Schools' athletic facilities will cost about $1.2 million.

        But once they are done, this small northern Butler County district of 894 students will have the same educational and athletic facilities as wealthier neighboring districts, school officials say.

        This spring, work on a two-year, $10.6 million project that rebuilt the junior/senior high school and added an elementary wing will be completed, enlarging the building by 30,000 square feet. The move will allow all students in grades K-12 to attend classes in a single building beginning in August.

        In June, the elementary school will be demolished ,and work is expected to begin on the outdoor facilities. Those facilities were not included in the project because the Ohio School Facilities Commission won't allow state money to be used for athletic-field improvements.

        New Miami resident and businessman Dan Rapier and his wife, Lynn, presented the school board with a $15,000 check after a recent presentation on the master plan for athletic facilities.

        “This is our first major donation and we are grateful.” Superintendent Robert “Bud” Bierly said.

        The costliest items of the master plan presented by Steed-Hammond-Paul architect Michael Dingeldein are enhancements to the football stadium, estimated at $884,000. Those include construction of a six-lane all-weather track, stadium lighting, grandstands, concession area, restrooms and drainage work.

        The plan also calls for construction of a baseball stadium at a cost of $75,500 where the elementary school now stands, and a smaller softball stadium, estimated to cost $56,000.

        “There are a lot of features we are excited about that will enhance our campus,” said William Balsinger, a member of the New Miami Board of Education.

        Once completed, the entire community could use the complex, Mr. Balsinger said.

        Mr. Bierly said a committee will oversee donations and work on the facilities. He said he expects work on the softball and baseball stadiums to begin by the end of the summer and work on the football stadium to begin in spring 2003.


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