As I have shared in a previous newspaper article, the School District of Lodi has launched a fundraising campaign to replace our current grass field in the Lodi High School Stadium with synthetic turf.
I have received several questions about how the district is going about this fundraising project and thought it might be good to share some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers here in the newspaper. Due to space limitations, I only chose those questions that I have been asked most often. If you are interested in knowing more about this project, you can find the stadium project on the School District of Lodi’s webpage at www.lodi.k12.wi.us. This site contains a more comprehensive question and answer document.
Why is the School District of Lodi looking to upgrade the field in the Lodi High School Stadium?
Due to poor drainage, impermeable subsurface soil conditions, heavy yearly rainfall, and excessive use, the Lodi Stadium Field has deteriorated to the extent of becoming one of the worst athletic fields in the area. Keeping the field in a safe and playable condition has become more and more difficult each year. To help protect the stadium field from excessive use, the high school administration has had to restrict the access of the Lodi High School Physical Education and Band programs, postpone athletic games, and move some home games to other fields in Lodi. Scheduled home events have also turned into away events due to the condition of the field, which culminated with Lodi’s 2018 Homecoming football game being played at Waunakee High School.
What is the overall goal of this project?
That every Lodi High School soccer player, football player, band member, and cheerleader gets to safely play or perform in the stadium for all scheduled games in front of his or her family and friends.
What solution is the district planning on proposing?
The district feels that putting synthetic turf in the stadium is the best option as it meets our goal and allows for more use from students than our current field.
I have heard conflicting information on the safety of synthetic turf versus natural grass turf. Which one is safer?
We reached out to Sauk Prairie Healthcare to research these questions. They shared research articles that indicated that there is negligible differences in injuries between synthetic turf and a well maintained grass field. The most unsafe surface is a poorly maintained grass surface.
How is the district planning on paying for the stadium turf project?
A capital campaign has been started to fundraise for the installation of synthetic turf in the stadium. The Board of Education has decided that they would borrow up to $500,000 toward the cost of this project, leaving the fundraising goal at $800,000.
How do I donate to this project?
You can write out a check payable to the School District of Lodi and drop it off at the district office, or at Associated Bank, or mail it to Brent Richter, Business Manager, 115 School Street, Lodi, WI 53555.
If you wish to donate by credit card, you can go to the following site: https://fundraising.pobinc.com/lodi-blue-devils/. Please note there is a processing fee for using a credit card.
The district encourages donations of $500 or more be provided through cash or check in order to avoid processing fees.
Are these donations tax deductible?
Yes. If you donate by cash or check, you will get a receipt from the school district. If you donate online, a receipt will be generated.
What will happen to donated money if the district does not meet its fundraising goal?
(Due to the feedback that was received through the first couple weeks of the campaign and the public meeting, the answer to this question has changed to be more reflective of what potential donors shared that they wanted to see). The Board of Education will need to decide if they want to extend the fundraising effort into the next calendar year, if they want to stop this fundraising effort, or if they want to pursue other funding options. This decision will be made at the Board of Education meeting in February of 2020.
If the Board of Education decides to stop the fundraising effort, people who donated $500 or more will be contacted and will have the option of either having the money returned or having the money placed in a segregated fund to be used only for a synthetic turf field. Fees assessed for donating online will not be refunded. Anonymous donations will not be returned.
Who do I contact if I have questions about this project?
Please go online and review the entire Stadium Project Question and Answer document and familiarize yourself with the project. It will take our entire extended community to turn this dream into a reality for all of our current and future students.
Vince Breunig is the Lodi High School principal.