Tipp City council support of new school stadium depends on location

TIPP CITY - Tipp City council Tuesday expressed support for proposed city participation in a schools’ stadium construction project, if the facility would remain in the City Park.

The Tipp City Exempted Village Schools Board of Education said it would make a decision at its Monday, Jan. 23, meeting on where a stadium project would be built.

The aging existing stadium is located in the park. The second location being considered is land next to Tippecanoe High School near Interstate 75.

City Manager Tim Eggleston outlined for council around $350,000 in in-kind services and cost sharing the council could consider for assisting in a stadium project.

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Among the proposed support projects would be the city paying half of home side restroom facilities costs (estimated at around $155,000); removing old lighting; waiving water tap fees; providing electric feeds to buildings; opening an exit to Third Street for better traffic flow when crowds occur; and providing additional parking in the City Park.

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Eggleston said costs could vary some depending on project bidding. “I am confident this can all work,” he said.

The estimated cost for a new stadium at the park is $6.2 million, compared to $7.1 million at the high school, according to an athletic complex cost breakdown presented to the school board Jan. 9 by consultants from Ruetschle Architects.

A private group, Tipp Pride, formed to raise money for the project. Mashell Stith, organization president, said work continues on getting a non-profit designation and on planned fundraising projects.

Representatives of Tipp Pride along with schools Superintendent Gretta Kumpf and Athletic Director JD Foust attended the council discussion.

Council President Joe Gibson told them council’s discussion of support was assuming the stadium would be in the park. “If not, this would not occur,” Gibson said of the city projects. “We would love to have you stay at the park.”

Mayor Pat Hale, who was among council representatives on a stadium project planning committee, agreed.

He said he’d be at the board meeting to support the park location. “I do think this is a good thing for the community as a whole,” Hale said.

Eggleston said council could vote at its Feb. 6 meeting on whether to commit to the participation, based on the board’s Jan. 23 decision.

Kumpf and Sam Spano, school board president, thanked council for its participation on the planning committee and for considering financial participation.

“I appreciate hearing council is committed to working with us at the park. That will go a long way in the board decision,” Spano said.

The stadium is owned by the city but leased long-term by the board of education. The board is responsible for maintaining the grounds, buildings and structures, according to the agreement.

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