Indian Valley officials recently released this preliminary drawing of a proposed stadium and athletic complex. The project would be funded through a 28-year bond issue being presented to district voters for approval in November. (Submitted photo)
Gnadenhutten, Ohio - Voters and families in the Indian Valley school district will have an opportunity to learn more about an upcoming bond issue and the district’s plans for the construction of a new football stadium during an informational meeting on September 6 at Indian Valley High School.
During the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., district officials will provide information on a 2-mill, 28-year bond issue that will appear on the ballot during the November 6 general election.
District Superintendent Ira Wentworth explains the district is seeking a $7 million bond for the construction of a new athletic stadium on approximately 19 acres of land located directly behind Indian Valley High School.
Wentworth says one of the main drivers of the project is the lack of space at the district’s athletic facility in Midvale. He estimates the size of the entire property to be between 8 and 10 acres including the stadium, school building, playground area and parking lots.
Wentworth notes that the lack of parking at the current facility creates a safety issue for students and spectators having to park elsewhere and walk to the stadium. He adds that the band is also unable to host shows at the current facility because there isn’t enough space to park multiple buses and equipment trailers.
In addition to a lack of parking, Wentworth says there isn’t enough room at the existing stadium to host even small track and field events safely, let alone to upgrade the existing six-lane track to eight lanes, which is required to host Conference Championships and OHSAA Tournament Meets.
The superintendent says that the hope of the district is that the new facility will serve a larger cross-section of students and create additional educational opportunities outside of the classroom environment.
“What we hear from other school districts that improved their facilities like this is they see an increase in the number of students who participate in extracurriculars because it’s a source of pride. At the end of the day, we understand that teaching reading, writing and arithmetic is our number one goal, but there’s more to education than just state tests - teaching teamwork, responsibility, dedication, and commitment, those types of soft skills are learned in the extracurricular world much more easily than they’re learned in the classroom,” he says.
Wentworth says the fate of the stadium project will be dependent on the passage of the bond issue, which will fund not only the construction of the new facility but also the purchase of the needed land.
He adds that homeowners will not see an increase in their property taxes if the issue passes because it has been set up so that collections won't begin until after the expiration of a 15-year bond issue of the same millage that was approved by district voters in 1994.
Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV