After many months of research, meetings, discussions and planning the Shelby City School District (SCSD) is moving forward with financing a $4 million dollar athletic complex that will be located at the site of the present-day track facility.

This new athletic complex will include: a turf field for our football and soccer teams, new (and safer) bleachers for home and visitor spectators, handicap accessibility throughout the stadium, a locker room facility that will also house restrooms for those in attendance, a spectator plaza, additional on-site parking, altering the location of the roadway from the tennis courts to Championship Drive to improve traffic flow, as well as relocating the baseball field and the field event venues for track.

Also, while not part of the $4 million dollar project, please know that the track and the existing eight tennis courts will be resurfaced and the softball field will receive a facelift.

As the superintendent of the Shelby City Schools, I recognize the significance that Skiles Field has played in the history of our school district and of the community.  However, I also recognize the importance of having all of our students and facilities on one campus and our board does as well.  As a matter of fact, I’m grateful that the SCSD has a board of education that has done their due diligence with regard to looking at the costs associated with this project and all the benefits we can provide for our students, staff members and the community and then making the determination to move forward with this project.

As our district inched closer and closer to making this decision, it was always imperative to the board and our administration that we continue to be good stewards of district money, just as it is in every financial decision that is made.  With that being said, I want to emphasize that the financial burden of financing this athletic facility will not be passed onto community in the form of new or increased taxes. As a matter of fact, when dissecting the financing of this new project, it’s important to remember that a reduced interest rate on Shelby’s PK-8 facility project saved the district $4 million dollars to put towards the athletic complex project.

Fortunately, the school district has the financial wherewithal to fund the project in the same manner in which we are financing the construction of the PK-8 building and that is via Certificates of Participation (COPS).

Hopefully in the next 8-10 weeks, our COPS transaction will be completed and the initial stages of the project will begin in June, 2021 and the overall project will be completed in August of 2023.

When this athletic complex and the PK-8 building are completed, all of our academic, and the majority of our athletic facilities, will be situated on one campus.  The number of opportunities and benefits that this will afford our students and staff is, quite frankly, countless.  The district will have 2,000 students on our campus who can walk to this facility from their classrooms and use it on a daily basis. That has never happened before in Shelby, ever.  For our staff and students, that is very, very exciting and they are grateful for the opportunities it will afford.