Why does the stadium need to be renovated?
The current stadium was built in late 1990’s and lights were added in the early 2000’s. The patchwork on the track has well expired to the degree that we cannot host any home track meets, and only a couple of lanes are usable for practice/training. The field is also quite overused thanks to the many wonderful programs and activities that use the field, including Football, Band and Lacrosse. Over time, the ground has become compact and uneven and is reaching the state of unacceptable standards.
What does the renovation include?
The renovation includes new long and triple jump pits and new pole vault area, as well as a new track and a state-of-the art turf field. Future plans also include additional seating and freestanding venue options including restrooms, locker rooms and a performance-training center.
What student groups would benefit from the renovation and how does the community also benefit?
Every student of Durango would benefit from the renovation. Many of our athletes come to participate in Demon sports from private and charter schools, and many more students enjoy coming to the games regularly. In particular, the activities that would most benefit from the renovation include Football, Cross Country and Track, Soccer, Lacrosse, Cheer/Dance and Marching Band. Additionally, a freestanding multi-purpose stadium offers many opportunities to community leagues, college teams and other community organizations in the region who could rent the facility to host events.
What are the standards to which student athletes are held?
All our student athletes and activity participants must conduct themselves as responsible representatives of the school, and are expected to embody the "Six Pillars of Character" which are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Eligibility for students is determined based on conduct, academics, and attendance. Students participating in athletics and activities must be drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free. Student grades are submitted bi-weekly, and participants may not be failing more that one class at the bi-weekly or semester grade checks to be eligible. Students who are absent for more than two periods in a single day may not participate in practices, games or events held the day of the absence.
I keep hearing negative news about synthetic turf, is it safe?
We are not using the rubber infill, which is the commonly perceived issue with turf. However, we are using a new turf technology that includes zeolite infill, which is a naturally occurring mineral. Includes better impact with new padding technology that also includes state-of-the-art drainage systems too. The zeolite also naturally filters water and bacteria, and is built to last. If well maintained the turf field can last 12-15 years. The pad has a 25-year warranty. Not only does this create a safe, consistent field for years to come, but it also saves the district significant money in maintenance, including watering, fertilizing, mowing etc. This infill also:
How long will the renovation project to take and what is the cost?
There are 3 stages to the renovation. First stage is underway, which includes laying down the groundwork for the project and preparing the areas that will be seeing major construction. The groundwork should be complete late in October. Then, the second stage will begin immediately following the 2016 Graduation ceremony, which is May 29, 2016. This stage will build the new track and field, as well as install a new scoreboard, among other items, and is set to be complete by the start of the Fall 2016 sports.
The district will continue to seek funding for stage 3, which includes the locker rooms, restrooms, ticket booth, performance center and the many other features that make the stadium “free standing”.
Each stage has an associated cost with that. We are actively seeking funding to complete the first two stages of work, but would like to keep the goal for the stage 3 freestanding stadium piece in mind. The Durango 9-R Board of Education has kicked in $900,000 to begin the groundwork, and the fundraising committee will actively seek the remaining $1.67 to complete stage’s 1 and 2. An additional $2M will be needed to realize the performance center and the freestanding stadium in stage 3 for a grand total of $3.67 to raise.
Is this taking away from classroom and instructional dollars?
No. The money provided by the Board of Education to start the project was money collected from tax-exempt entities who made contributions outside the typical funding structure, which cannot be used for anything other than capital projects. The other dollars to support the renovation will be solely realized through donations, sponsorships and gifts.
What is the district’s plan for maintaining the new facility once built?
A portion of ticket sales will go toward the continued maintenance costs to upkeep, repair or replace elements of the new multipurpose field. Additionally, the new materials being used in both the track and field come with 10-year warranties and should require very little to no maintenance during that time. Ongoing sponsorship opportunities will help fill in the remaining funding needs for maintenance and upkeep.
I can’t pitch in as a corporate sponsor, but are there other ways I can get involved?
Yes! In addition to volunteering with booster clubs, you can also make a donation to the fundraiser on our new fan website, demonfans.durangoschools.org, by clicking the GoFundMe button. This allows you to make a quick and secure donation. Schedule of field and stadium tours are available. Find the schedule online at demonfans.durangoschools.org.