The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2022

VWCS: Bond issue next year for stadium

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent writer

Voters in the Van Wert City School District can expect to see a May 2022 ballot issue to renovate and improve Eggerss Stadium. During Wednesday night’s monthly meeting, the Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution to start the process that would put the issue to a vote.

Van Wert Superintendent Mark Bagley talks about a bond issue the district is placing on the ballot to fund renovations to Eggerss Stadium. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

According to Superintendent Mark Bagley, a 20-year bond issue for just under one mill will be placed before voters next spring. If approved, it would generate between $4-$5 million and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $35 annually. Work on the stadium would begin by December 1, 2022.

Eggerss Stadium is the second oldest Western Buckeye League stadium after Celina’s. It was a WPA project that was completed in 1936.

“Eggerss Stadium continues to age with each passing year,” Bagley said. “In order to preserve the structural integrity of the stadium the district is faced with preserving the structural needs now. The press box, lockers, restrooms, concession stands and accessibility are all serious issues that need to be addressed now.”

“Bond rates are historically low, maximizing the investment that could happen,” Bagley continued. “The current climate in the Van Wert community allows us the opportunity.

“As Van Wert Forward embarks on a downtown redevelopment facelift, we envision Eggerss Stadium playing a pivotal role in the entertainment section of the downtown revitalization project by serving as space for concerts for the entire Van Wert community and beyond to enjoy,” the superintendent noted.

“I’m proud to say I one-hundred percent support what our committee has worked on,” he added. “I believe in it and it’s going to take a lot of hard work and effort to do this, but the time is now.”

Bagley noted more information on the project will be released in the coming days and week.

The board also heard brief comments from Larry Mengerink, Kent McMillen and Dave Boroff, all staunch supporters of keeping the stadium downtown. Boroff, who originally painted the Cougar Pride Wall, offered to repaint it free of charge and all three gave the board checks to help start the renovation process.

All five board members — Rachel White, Scott Mull, Anthony Adams, Greg Blackmore and Debbie Compton — spoke in favor of the project.

An online survey done in 2018 showed 71 percent of those responding wanted to keep the stadium downtown.

In other business, the board accepted the resignations of Van Wert School at the Goedde secretary Christine Amstutz, Van Wert Elementary intervention specialist Britni Dempsey, high school custodian Tim Parker and high school basketball cheer coach Samantha Fleming. The board also approved a one-year leave of absence for Kelly Foster.

Board members agreed to hire Tracy Collins as Van Wert School at the Goedde secretary and Katy Priest as a long-term substitute middle school language arts teacher.

A number of athletic supplemental contracts were given approval, including Mimmo Lytle, head wrestling coach; Josiah Poletta, boys’ junior varsity basketball coach; Sam Boehnlein, high school assistant basketball coach; Damian Helm, freshman boys’ basketball coach; Brandon Miller, volunteer varsity assistant coach; Tom Baer, eighth grade boys’ basketball coach; Nate Hoverman, seventh grade boys’ basketball coach; Harry Florence, girls’ varsity baskeball assistant coach; Kelsey Wertz, girls’ junior varsity basketball coach; Eli Alvarez, eighth grade girls’ basketball coach, Troy Hoffman, seventh grade girls’ basketball coach; Stan Bladen, assistant bowling coach; Keith Rydell and Bethany Fast, assistant swimming coaches and Tiffany Werts, middle school cheerleading coach.

Bagley and Director of Curriculum Chris Covey gave a brief presentation on academic priorities and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS.

Assistant Superintendent Bill Clifton said 26 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are in buildings throughout the district, with seven more on the way, and he said cardiac response teams are being developed. He also noted portable air conditioning units have been installed in six classrooms at the Goedde Building and he said, so far, one day of school has been canceled and three other days began with weather-related delays.

Treasurer Michelle Mawer said she’s working on the latest five-year forecast, which is due by November.

The board also accepted a $2,000 donation from the Cooper Family Foundation for Van Wert High School, and board members went into executive discussion to discuss the employment of public personnel, but no action was taken afterward.

The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 27, in the First Federal Lecture Hall of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.

POSTED: 09/22/21 at 10:42 pm. FILED UNDER: News