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Board Stadium Statement
There has been much discussion with regard to a stadium at Kingston High School and sharing the District stadium. The Board would like to express its position on these particular issues. In doing so, we expect our staff, students and community leaders to work together to establish new traditions that honor the community vision set forth in the 2001 Bond.
The Bond proposal provided much needed remodels at several elementary schools, a junior high, a high school, the community pool, Spectrum and included building a new high school. It was never the intention of this particular Bond to provide a "stadium" at the new Kingston High School location. The Bond planning committee was comprised of community members, city and county officials and school district personnel. Their research showed that Districts with multiple high schools SHARED a stadium. The cost to provide a separate stadium was prohibitive in most Districts, including North Kitsap. The taxpayer's dollars were better spent on projects that focused on our classrooms.
The recommendation to install artificial turf at the new high school was made to reduce maintenance costs, extend the life of the playing field, and to accommodate the use of multiple sports. Lights at the new high school field were never in the original plan. However, in 2005, it was recommended to the Board that while the field was already under construction, it made sense to lay electrical conduit. This would provide an opportunity in the future for lights to be installed, thus extending the use of the field for multiple sports and later practices. The Board felt this was a prudent recommendation to save taxpayer money in the future. Again, it was not the intent of the Board to provide a stadium at the new high school.
We have been fortunate to have some very enthusiastic Kingston community groups that have provided tremendous support for the new high school. (Kingston Athletic Boosters and Kingston Rotary, to name a few.) The boosters raised money for a scoreboard at Kingston High School and Kingston Rotary has been raising funds for lights at the field. These monies have been collected through community fund raising efforts; not Bond money.
We recognize that the current District stadium does not reflect a multiple high school facility. There are many enhancements that could be provided. For example, additional mascot logos, locker rooms and space for both football teams and band use. Our presumption was that the staff, students and community leaders would gather together to promote an environment that welcomes and models partnerships, sharing and that embraces our good fortune of having a new school in our midst. These decisions should be made by users: groups of students, staff and community leaders coming together with their ideas and talents. After all, these are the same students that, just a year ago were YOUR students, YOUR athletes, YOUR classmates, and YOUR friends.
We are hearing many comments from the Kingston community with regard to establishing their own traditions; particularly field use. We share in their excitement and efforts. With that in mind, the Board acknowledges and concurs that if the Kingston High School staff, students and community members would like to play their home football games on their field, they may certainly do so. However, they do so with the understanding that no further plans will be made to enhance the District stadium to reflect multiple high school use AND there will be no additional funding from the Capital Projects budget for any "stadium" type item at Kingston High School. (i.e. no bleachers, no lights, no concession stand, no additional restrooms, etc.)
There may be a time when a full stadium will be built for Kingston High School. But not with the support from this Board and not with these Bond dollars. That's for the voters to decide at a later date, perhaps within the upcoming levy or future bond. So, with that being said, let's all redirect our focus to what we're teaching our children and the academic success of ALL our students.