New trees are coming to WHS soccer fields

What was once lined with trees is now barren, but the Weiser Schooll District said the trees will be replaced. Photo by Nancy Grindstaff
Nancy Grindstaff
It may have been common knowledge among Weiser High School faculty, but the old trees that were removed from around the high school soccer fields in early May are due to be replaced.
 According to Weiser School District Superintendent Kenneth Dewlen, along with adding a fence all the way around the soccer and softball fields, trees in the maple family will be included in the landscaping redesign, set in the neighborhood of 30 feet apart.
 Dewlen told the Signal American that district grounds and lawns supervisor Marcy Hooper is also working on moving the existing berm in a little towards the fields.
 “We don’t control the street, but we can improve the space for parking,” Dewlen said. “We’re going to add an ADA compliant piece to the parking, as well, whether it’s to space the trees out so folks will be able to watch, or where they can get out and there will be a place on concrete from where they can watch.”
 If there was a question about the district’s ongoing relationship with the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest and Festival, Dewlen said nothing has changed there.
 “That will not change as long as we are here,” he said. “For the record, there are two entities that are grandfathered in on our facilities usage policy. The NOTFC and the Bluegrass Camp, don’t have to pay because of what they bring to the community.”
 A fieldhouse at the high school is on the table, with R&M Steel out of Caldwell donating 80 percent of the cost of the $200,000 steel structure. 
 “It’s going to be a little bigger than we first talked about,” Dewlen said. “But it will be a phased approach.”
 During May’s monthly school board meeting Dewlen reported to the trustees that R&M Steel’s offer could stay on the table for an extended period of time until the district is ready to move forward on the project.
 “The fieldhouse doesn’t qualify as a student occupied building under the new 10-year facilities plan because it won’t be used for education,” Dewlen said. “R&M Steel will deliver the structure, but then there’s the concrete pad, and the cost to put it up. We want the interior to be finished, restrooms, concessions.”
 “It’s possible another levy could be sought to finish the fieldhouse, but we do have another plant facilities levy on the books and available to use right now,” Deputy Clerk Barbara Choate said. “Those funds could legitimately be used for the fieldhouse. Along with the track estimate from the architect, we will be getting some of the underlying estimated expenses of finishing the fieldhouse the way that we want it.”
 Dewlen said the siting for the fieldhouse remains between the north side of the school parking lot and the south fence of the main softball field. 
  “I think one reason that is the best place has to do with the ability to tap into utilities,” he said.
 Dewlen added that there is speculation about adding a baseball field to the nine acres, changing the location of WHS baseball games from Memorial Park’s Walter Johnson field.
 “We’re talking three to five years down the road to make that into a full complex,” he said. “There isn’t any intention to bring the football field up to the high school. People seem to love that hill and the name of the football field.
 “We have a good relationship with the city,” he added. “They own the property, but we own the fixtures on the property.”


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
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