KCSD Board approved proposal for improvements to track, football field at Calvert Stadium

The Keokuk Community School District board voted on Sept. 5 to move forward with the track and field improvements after an Athletic Facility Public Hearing and the Financing Public Hearing was held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 5, at the Central Office, in the Collaboration Center, at 500 N. 20th St., in Keokuk.  

The hearing provided support of the project via the public and was held on the use of school infrastructure sales, services and use tax revenues for the proposed athletic facility infrastructure project, that would not exceed $4,000,000 in cost. The funds are in the State Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) Fund and distributed to the School District pursuant to Section 423F.2 of the Iowa Code. The use of SAVE Funds does not increase the District’s tax rate.

The improvements would include replacing the existing track, which would remain a six-lane track with an eight-lane 100 meter section, replacing or relocating track and field event stations, replacing the existing grass field surface with artificial turf for football and soccer, and a drainage improvement plan. If the jump pits are relocated, the field could be made wide enough to accommodate a regulation soccer field as well, according to Joseph Knochel with Klinger.

“We are working on a conceptual design for a few options for the school, and we are focusing on the track and field for a phase one portion of this,” Knochel said. “We are determined to stay within the current footprint of the stadium.”

The proposed cost for an artificial turf football field that would include drainage is $1,514,550, and the proposed cost to replace the track is $1,513,184.95.

For the addition of artificial turf to the field, the turf has to be replaced between seven and 10 years.

“Cost [of a turf field] is kind of a moot point, as far as AD’s have told me, because with grass you have the yearly expense of taking care of it,” Zach Summers, Keokuk Athletic Director, said. “Whereas with a turf field you have far less yearly expense, but have to budget each year to be able to afford to replace it over time.”

Another benefit to turf mentioned by the KCSD athletic director was the ability to allow the entire community to utilize the field for events.

Bidding will occur in January with construction set to begin in April and conclude in September 2024