Posted April 18
Millard North is getting a second chance. Channel Six News has learned the high school has been given a three-week extension to raise money for artificial turf on the practice field.
The school needs $300,000. So far, the foundation has raised half that.
If it meets the three week extension deadline, a marketing company in Oregon will cover the rest of the turf bill, $900,000.
Millard West did not get an extension.
Posted April 16
Millard North and Millard West won't be getting artificial turf for its practice fields any time soon. A month-long fundraising effort has fallen short.
Millard North raised $150,000 but needed $300,000 in order to get the grant where a private out-of-state marketing organization would pick up the rest of the tab. Each practice field would cost $1.2-million.
Millard West raised less than $50,000.
In a survey, voters told the district that the cost of practice turf being included in the $141-million bond last fall was a major factor in why they voted no.
Millard North officials say they may reapply for the grant next year.
Posted March 14
The Millard School District is in the middle of a month-long fundraising campaign to put in artificial turf practice fields at Millard North and Millard West. Taxpayer surveys indicated that it was a major reason for the defeat of a $141-million bond issue last fall.
"This area here is where it would actually receive turf," says Chad Zimmerman, Assistant Principal, Athletics and Activities at Millard North, who pointed out the trouble areas in the grass used by 1,000 students a day.
This new idea wouldn't be decided by a vote -- but philanthropy.
"We don't consider it a luxury item," said Zimmerman. "It is more of what we call -- leveling the playing field."
Here is how it would work: The Community Sports Development Council in Oregon has offered Millard Public Schools a grant.
If each school raises $350,000, the Development Council will cover the rest of the cost.
Millard Schools Foundation has already pledged $50,000 to each high school.
Practice turf at each facility would run in the range of $1.2-million dollars.
"It's a wonderful return on investment," said Nicolette Blobaum, who supported the last bond but recognized why voters questioned the practice fields.
Millard West's practice area -- the youngest of the two since the school has been open for 17-years -- looks rough.
In some spots, we had a hard to spotting any grass at all.
"We have a tight window...to get this done," said Millard West Activities and Athletics Director Rick Hook. "If someone is going to give us 70% of the cost, it has motivated us to do this with the community."
If one school reaches the goal but the other does not, the Community Sports Development Council will finance just one project.
Pledges are due by Friday, April 13. Fliers indicate anyone who donates $1,000 or more will have their name permanently honored on the site of the new turf field.
If the goal is reached, construction could begin as early as the summer.
For the district -- not only does it get a deal on the turf -- but it wouldn't have to put practice fields on another bond.
The school board is considering a smaller bond to address other projects.
A district spokesperson says that may not happen until Spring 2013.