School District Committed to Middle School Sports Facilities Upgrades

Middle School Track - Contributed Photo

Plans Underway to Upgrade Stadium, Track

At 77 years-old, Beell Stadium has long been a landmark in the City of Marshfield, and though the new proposed stadium at the High School is expected to be constructed, Beell will continue to be a valued resource for the School District and community.

Completed in 1941 on the then high school property, the stadium is named after fallen Marshfield Police Officer, Fred Beell, who was killed in the line of duty in 1933. The year Beell was constructed, the graduating class was 163. At this time, only Varsity Boys Sports were offered in Football, Basketball, Wrestling, Boxing, and Hockey. In 1941, Girls sports were organized under G.A.A. offering Volleyball, Basketball, Field Hockey, Badminton, Indoor Baseball, Bowling, Tennis, Hiking, Cheerleading, and Bicycling.

In 1968, the high school moved to its current location. The Graduating Class of 1969 was 255 and the Graduating Class of 2017 was 308.

Throughout the years, the number of sports and levels has greatly increased. Varsity Sports offered included – Girls: Volleyball, Cross Country, Swimming, Tennis, Golf, Basketball, Hockey, Gymnastics, Softball, Track and Field, Soccer, and Cheerleading; Boys: Football, Soccer, Cross Country, Basketball, Wrestling, Hockey, Swimming, Baseball, Golf, Track and Field, and Tennis; Co-Ed Club Sports: Bowling, Archery, Figure Skating.

Last year during the 2016-17 school year, there were 545 student-athletes at the high school. Approximately 300 of those students were multi-sport athletes.

Since Beell Stadium’s construction, demand for the facility, as well as usage, has continued to climb. With respect for the history of the facility and recognizing its value and the need, the School District is committed to maintaining Beell Stadium as a resource for students and the community at large.

Demand for the track in particular is significant, not only for athletes but for the student body as as a whole. Columbus Catholic Schools has ongoing interest in using the track, and there is value to the Middle School curriculum to have a usable track on the campus. Currently, the track is in urgent need of repair and has not been able to be used competitively for nearly a decade – something that will change under the new proposed plan for upgrades.

As the number of student athletes continues has grown, so has the demand for Middle School campus improvements. In the next couple of years, several proposed upgrades to Beell Stadium and the surrounding Marshfield Middle School campus are expected to take place.

These proposed upgrades include:

  • New 6 Lane Track— current track will be
    completely removed and new base layers and contouring will be completed.
  • Track infield will be renovated with new drainage, amended soils, and will be completely filled in and usable as a multi-use surface for Physical Education, Soccer, and Football, as well as other community uses.
  • West Side Bleachers of stadium will be removed to allow for walking area, field events, and widening of the playing surface (to accommodate for soccer)
  • Playing surface will be upgraded and graded to allow the Beell Stadium to become a multi-use surface that can service Middle School Physical Education, Soccer, and Football, as well as other community uses.
  • Lighting will remain on main field (Beell),
    which will increase flexibility with scheduling. —Currently, the City does not have lighted soccer so this will allow the potential for two lighted playing fields (proposed high school and Beell)

Used by students, athletes, and community members and groups, these improvements are a necessary upgrade to the facility.

“We currently do not have a track that is able to service the academic, athletic, and community needs,” said DeLany. “This will allow our students, athletes, and community members to use an upgraded and safe facility.”

In addition to track improvements, grass playing surfaces will be significantly upgraded to allow for more usage. Removing the west bleachers will allow for a significant improvement in traffic flow and allow for the necessary room for some field event areas.

Community members will have an usable track and grass infield surface for recreational use. Middle School Physical Education Curriculum will now have complete access usable facilities which they don’t have access to today. Upgrades will allow all students to have access, this includes our special needs population.

Upgrades are funded through a proposed plan that includes a mix of private and School District dollars. The District has committed $3,500,000 as a a 2:1 challenge to the community to raise an additional $7,000,000.

There are three sites or campuses that will receive renovations. The Middle School site, which includes Beell and the Middle School track, is an estimated $1.55 million of the total project.

Rendering by Rettler

During an average year, the track is minimally (due to the condition of the surfaces) used by Marshfield Middle School and High School Track teams as well as Columbus Catholic. Football uses Beell Stadium for both the Middle School and High School for the fall season only. Marshfield Youth Football uses the inner track and other green space around the Middle School for practices multiple days each week during the fall.

Once the money is raised for the multi-use sports complex at the high school is built, Beell will still be used for: Middle School Football, Soccer, Track; all soccer programs will have access to the field to utilize lighting for late fall or early spring events. As in the past, Columbus Catholic Schools will be able to schedule games events at these locations as well. The campus recently added basketball courts on the north end of the Middle School for students and the community to enjoy.

“The intent of the Middle School upgrades is to create a safe, educational, and public space for all of our recreational users,” said DeLany. “Beell Stadium will still stand proudly, but now will offer more usage.”

Note: all upgrades are “proposed” because the renovations that will take place are dependent upon the $7 million raised privately.

Read more FAQ:

News Desk
Author: News Desk