USA Football grant gets District 206 one step closer to facilities enhancement goal

Alexandria School District 206 received a $50,000 grant in May that gets it one step closer to reaching its monetary goal for the field turf that will be installed on the football field at the new high school that will open in 2014.

Alexandria was one of just nine recipients of the grant, which was presented to them through USA Football’s $450,000 field-building grant program with FieldTurf. FieldTurf is a partner with USA Football that has installed thousands of turf fields at the high school and municipal levels.

The program is designed to help build safer and more high-quality football fields for athletes all over the United States. Each grant is awarded based on merit and need.

“We submitted it quite a while back and heard favorable things,” District 206 Activities Director Dr. David Hartmann said. “But this was the official word. That helps us ensure that we’re going to have field turf. We’ve got some more money to raise.”

The field turf is a part of a facilities enhancement project that is officially under way. The District 206 School Board gave the OK after setting a May 20 deadline for Hartmann and others to show that this could become a reality.

They have done that by raising almost $700,000 of the approximately $950,000 that needs to be raised for the field turf and indoor facilities projects combined. All the money has been raised through grants and private donors.

“We have approached all kinds of different groups,” Hartmann said. “It’s really been well received…this community will be really proud of it. I think it will be a ‘wow’ for outside groups. The community really stepped up.”

The indoor facilities project will create adequate seating on five courts within the gymnasium. That should enhance the quality of the fan-viewing experience and allow Alexandria to host multiple events at the same time.

Both the indoor and outdoor projects should also make Alexandria an attractive place to host a number of different events throughout the year. From section playoff games to youth tournaments in a variety of sports, Hartmann believes Alexandria will become a popular destination as a result of these enhancements.

“I think it’s really going to put us in position, with turf, a nine-lane track, we’re working on a USTA tennis grant for 12 tennis courts,” Hartmann said. “All this will put us in a position to be a very attractive site for hosting multiple events and bringing in people to our community.”