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Fundraising drive starts again for Joe Quintal Field

The fundraising drive for a new artificial turf surface and a new track at Joe Quintal Field continues, with a new effort to secure funding for the project before the end of the year.

Mitchell High School recently re-opened another round of fundraising, this time targeting donors who might be willing to donate a smaller amount. The goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of the year.

The funds raised will go toward one-third of the overall $1.2 million cost of the project. Mitchell School District will cover $400,000 of the costs with capital outlay funding, while an increased lease with Dakota Wesleyan University for use of the football field will cover another $400,000. The remaining one-third to be fundraised — $400,000 — already has $155,000 in contributions but the remaining money is expected to be raised before construction begins.

That led to Mitchell High School Activities Director Cory Aadland starting another fundraising drive for smaller-scale donors.

"Early in this process, we've been out and looking for some of the bigger donors, whether that's businesses or corporations," he said. "Through the course of talking to some of those people, it became obvious that there's interest from people that maybe don't have the corporate connections but are, for example, your average fans and want to get involved."

The school district is attempting to incentivize donations with Kernel apparel and tickets to future events at the stadium. Donations of $1,000 or more can be spread out over a five-year period, which Aadland hopes will make it easier for individuals and families to contribute to the project.

"I've spoke to a few groups that have been receptive to it," Aadland said. "Hopefully, we can get it going and as people become more aware of it, it will just build."

The flyer for the fundraising campaign includes a layout of the potential upgrades at Joe Quintal Field, with the artificial turf lined for both football and soccer, with "JOE QUINTAL" written in black in each end zone.

"It's one option and one possibility," he said. "I just wanted to get an idea of what this might look like and maybe that will help get people's minds thinking about this project."

With the upgrades to the track and football field, Aadland said it's likely that the field event layout for track meets at Joe Quintal Field will be re-arranged. Currently, the high jump takes place behind the west end zone, while shot put takes place behind the east end zone in the stadium. Discus, triple jump and long jump currently take place outside the track facility.

"We don't really know exactly how it will all be laid out, but I want to take this opportunity to see what's possible and what is an optimal layout for track and field at Joe Quintal Field," Aadland said. "The way we've got it now isn't great for coaches, because schools have one jumps coach and we have jumps on opposite ends of the facility and the same is the case for the throwers."

The field is one of the few in the state that has the shot put facility located inside the track, but Aadland said it's likely that it will be moved to the southeast corner of the facility, closer to the current discus area, but added any of the changes will depend on costs and feasibility.

"I've probably looked at about 25 to 30 track facilities on Google Earth and they're all a little bit different. You would think that a track is a track but that couldn't be further than the truth. ... We have to think about how the track would operate with 200 or 300 people in the infield for a 15-team meet."

Information about the fundraising campaign can be found at the MHS website: mitchell.k12.sd.us/mhs and Aadland can be reached by phone at 605-995-3034.

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