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Back to school: Construction limited to new stadium

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The lone focus of construction taking place within Westfield Washington Schools will be behind the high school as the district builds Riverview Health Stadium.

The 5,500-seat community stadium plans to break ground next month. Director of Business Nick Verhoff said bids for the project have been awarded and construction teams will be mobilizing in early August. Orange construction fencing is being placed for erosion control and the old, concrete brick locker rooms will be demolished ahead of time.

“They’re storage buildings. Sodexho is doing them in-house to save money,” Verhoff said. “We’d like to start construction by Aug. 1.”

Verhoff said the plan is to have the field and track installed before the weather turns bad.

“I want to see kids practice on the field by the end of the year at least,” he said. “It should be fully operational by track next spring and we plan to have an outdoor graduation there.”

The district expects to close on its land sale of the current stadium and adjacent land on July 28 or 29. Once the deal is finished, Westfield Washington Schools will continue to play football at its current stadium, which was opened in 1950. Verhoff said the land would not be turned over until after the football season.

Earlier this year, the district agreed to sell 14 acres just east of the U.S. 31-Ind. 32 interchange to a group of local Westfield investors. On the 9.6 acres west of Shamrock Boulevard which is the current site of the school district’s football stadium and track and a baseball diamond, EdgeRock Development LLC plans to build a medical office building, family entertainment center, hotel/meeting space, retail and fitness center.

“The value of the construction is approximately $40 million and they want to commence construction as soon as possible. The buildings could impact 2016 payable taxes,” Supt. Dr. Mark Keen said. “Land taxes would generate $80,000 and taxes on the commercial structures would generate $900,000.”

Verhoff said the 4.5 acres east of Shamrock Boulevard is where the administration office is located. He said the district has the ability to remain in that space for five more years.

“We are looking for other places to relocate to,” Verhoff said. “We can accommodate the five years and will likely do that.”

In June, Riverview Health bought the first naming rights for the football stadium and will pay the district $1.2 million during a 10-year period. Keen said payments will be $10,000 a month for that timeframe and naming rights begin once Riverview Health Stadium opens.

School officials estimate that Riverview Health Stadium will host more than 300 events a year because of its artificial turf. The stadium also is being built without any taxpayer dollars.


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