Carthage School District officials give a tour of a new multi-million dollar athletic facility, funded by tax dollars. Construction crews are still working on the facility, set to open this summer. But school district officials say they want taxpayers to know that their dollars are being spent to enrich young lives.
This $10 million project is being funded by a property tax levy passed by voters in 2015.
Go to the new football field at Carthage's high school, and besides the wind and construction work, you'll hear Tiger pride roaring.
"It is really an exciting time," says Superintendent Dr. Sean Smith.
"As we continue to see things come up and change every day, I think the level of excitement continues to increase," says Athletic Director Andy Youngworth.
You've heard of "grass is greener on the other side"...
"There will be some things missed, but some things that we're going to gain by coming out here to this stadium will offset those," says Youngworth.
...Turf at this new field is noticeably greener than the high school's current grass field, which is actually at a middle school away from the high school. The new stadium is next to the high school.
"It's a lot more convenient for our kids," says Youngworth. "It's a lot safer."
The new stadium will have close to 1,000 more seats than the old facility.
"We've never been able to seat everybody," says Youngworth
A bigger track around the football field means the opportunity to host district qualifiers.
"There is some economic benefit," says Youngworth.
A new indoor multi-purpose athletic center will mean a new place to practice wrestling, freeing up space elsewhere.
"Space that's currently being used by the wrestling program will be reconverted back to classroom space," says Smith.
School staff say the new stadium is also more handicap accessible than the old facility.
Youngworth says, "Part of the thing that attracts parents to a school district is, are the school districts up-to-grade, and the facilities that go with it?"
"Research shows kids who are active in extracurricular activities are more inclined to stay in school and to graduate from school," says Smith.
So in the middle of all these new "wow" factors is the hope that students are reminded, "school is cool!"
Construction on this project began last summer, and is about two weeks ahead of schedule right now.
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