The Reardan-Edwall School District is asking voters to approve a new capital levy to improve facilities so tennis players and track athletes don’t have to be bused to outside facilities every day to practice.
The five-year levy would raise nearly $4.2 million to build a transportation cooperative facility, reimburse the district for new athletic field lights, put in a rubberized track, rebuild the tennis courts, create a wrestling and fitness center, and build a field house. The Health, Safety and Renovation levy would cost voters an estimated 95 cents per $1,000 in assessed home value each year.
The district replaced the aging field lights at the athletic field this summer. “Two of them blew out, actually shattered, during games last year,” Superintendent Eric Sobotta said. “Those were vintage 1970s lights.”
There’s also an opportunity to get 90% of a new transportation cooperative facility paid for by the state if the district can come up with 10% of the cost, Sobotta said. The current home of the district’s transportation department is a 1980 pole barn.
If a new transportation facility is built, the barn could be renovated and remodeled to create a wrestling facility and a fitness center that would be open to the public, Sobotta said. The district doesn’t have any space for the wrestling team. Last year, the team practiced in City Hall; this year, they’re using what used to be the band room.
The district’s track and field facilities are also lacking. Some athletes, including long jumpers and high jumpers, can’t practice in Reardan and have to be bused to Davenport. The levy, if approved, would upgrade the facilities and put in a rubberized track and rubberized approaches for field events. “Our track is a dirt track,” Sobotta said. “It’s not safe for meets.”
The district has five outdoor tennis courts that are about 50 years old and in such poor condition that they’ve been deemed unsafe to use. Tennis players are bused to Medical Lake every day for practice.
If the levy is approved, the plan is to reconstruct three of the courts since the district doesn’t really need five, Sobotta said. Then a multiuse field house would be built that could be used for team practices and community activities in addition to providing a place for physical education classes during bad weather.
Completing the projects would allow the district to save money it is spending to bus students to other school districts so they can practice, Sobotta said. “There’s a cost to having inadequate facilities,” he said.
He said he knows that inflation makes it a difficult time to ask voters for more money, but said residents’ taxes will still be lower than in many other districts in the area. “We’re all tight,” he said. “I’m a homeowner myself. I get it.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.