SOLON– The Gerdin Family Foundation has pledged to donate $400,000 toward the completion of the Solon school district’s Outdoor Events Center (OEC).
“Last month, the Gerdin family donated new lighting at Solon Middle School gymnasium and with the announcement of this large donation, they continue to show they are major supporters of the Solon Community School District,” said School Superintendent Sam Miller, adding, “the Gerdin donation may allow the district to complete the OEC.”
The school administration released the news on Friday, Dec. 16, in a statement that said, in part, “The district has been carefully designing a functional OEC but has been challenged to fund the project in its entirety.”
The donation might create enough of a cushion to ease the board’s worries about springing for a stand-alone Spartan team room building and a visitor-side team room attached to the visitor concessions. Designs for team rooms have been worked as alternate bids in Shive-Hattery’s designs.
Solon Board of Education (BOE) president Dave Asprey said, “(the money) will greatly enhance the experience of our students, athletes, fine arts performers and members of our community. The board is eager to consider the specifics of how this contribution can be utilized to complete the OEC project.”
The school district will seek bids early next year for the stadium construction project, which includes the home concessions and elevated press box, ticket booths, parking lot and OEC fence line.
Coach Kevin Miller, who led the football team to a 3A state championship in 2010, said, “the football program would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the entire Gerdin family for their recent generous donation. We are very fortunate to have a supportive family that embraces the opportunity to allow our student athletes to have the resources and facilities necessary to compete at the very highest level.”
Last month, the board purchased 92,000 square feet of FieldTurf from Midwest FieldTurf in Denison for $346,500.
The school board was tasked with completing the new stadium project by next year to allow the football team to play home games in 2012. The former 2A team currently plays in the Iowa high school Class 3A division and a new 3A stadium must have at least 2,000 seats.
Early designs for the OEC show a capacity of over 2,500 fans plus the marching band in home and visitor bleachers. The field is also home to Solon high school’s soccer and track and field teams.