Tipp City could build new stadium at park or school

Tipp City Exempted Village Schools has a concept plan and firmer numbers to go along with discussions about a possible stadium project.

The board of education, which hopes to make a decision at its Jan. 23 meeting on where a stadium project would be built, received cost estimates for potential sites at City Park and next to Tippecanoe High School on Jan. 9.

Numbers outlined by consultant Mike Ruetschle of Ruetschle Architects estimated the cost of a new stadium at City Park, home of the current stadium, at $6,169,561. The cost for a stadium next to the high school was estimated at $7,129,139.

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Ruetschle explained a key difference, as anticipated in earlier discussions, would be the cost of parking.

At City Park, parking already exists and on-street parking in the neighborhood is used. At the high school, around 500 more spaces would be needed.

The concept plan includes 62 more spaces at the park for $147,700 and 503 at the high school for $1,198,143.

The same artificial turf is proposed for either location for $855,000 along with 3,000 home side bleacher seats, 745-visitor bleacher seats and 300 band area bleacher seats for just over $1 million at either location.

Proposed structures include restrooms, concessions, storage, locker rooms, press box and spirit shop for around $1.6 million at each location.

“This is a master plan, the vision,” Ruetschle said.

The plan was based on meetings held with a committee of representatives of the schools, city and the citizens’ group working to raise private dollars for a project.

Schools Superintendent Gretta Kumpf thanked Ruetschle for the work.

“You did a great job of bringing it to life,” she said.

The aging stadium at City Park is owned by the city and leased long-term by the schools.

School board President Sam Spano said Jan. 9 the stadium project location would be a “key factor” in private funding.

“We are seeking to pay with private funds as much as possible,” he said. “We keep hearing … there appears to be more support to provide non-district dollar funding for the location being at the park rather than at the school. That also has to play into some of our decision making as well.”

City council is expected to discuss possible participation in a project at tonight’s meeting. . It was asked Jan. 3 to approve paying around $4,000 for soil borings at the park site. Some council members asked for more information before deciding on that request.

The board of education and the city shared the $20,000 cost of the concept plan and detailed cost estimates.

Board member Frank Maus asked for more information on how a stadium at the high school would be used compared one at the park.

The board of education in late 2015 voted to place a bond issue on the March 2016 primary ballot for a stadium. That request, though, was removed from the ballot in January 2016 by a five-member board with three new members elected in November 2015. The board said more detailed plans were needed before any funding proposal.

Since then the citizens’ organization, Tipp Pride, has been formed to attempt to raise private dollars for a stadium project. More information on that organization’s efforts is available at tipppride.com.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com.

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