Roland-Story seeks community input on athletic facility needs

Contributed by Matt Patton
Special to the Story City Herald

The Roland-Story Community School District is using a community-driven process to examine and address its athletic facility needs.

The district has formed a steering committee, made up of 10 members from a cross-section of Roland and Story City, to lead this effort. The committee is working to understand how community members would consider and prioritize improvements to the Roland-Story Sports Complex, located just south of the high school in Story City.

“Our goal is to elicit feedback and the contribution of ideas, opinions and dollar amounts so that we get community buy-in and get a better sense of what people would like to see from this project,” said Kurt Erikson, steering committee member.

The steering committee has spent significant time evaluating the facility needs and are now looking for public feedback regarding potential solutions. On Monday, February 22, the committee met with members of the community for an informational session, followed by a small-group exercise to examine the needs.

“Our community really values the location of the current stadium,” said Willow Hill, steering committee member. “It’s in the heart of Story City and we love that, but it also brings a lot of complications. We are hoping to settle on something that everyone can be proud of.”

Needs at the Sports Complex include an aging track surface, parking issues and challenges with the field contour, surface and draining. The facility also needs new fencing, goalposts, a secured gated entry, a bleacher extension and better Americans with Disability Act site accessibility.

Additionally, improvements are needed to the scoreboard, concessions, public restrooms and storage spaces at the site.

“The track has needed a lot of work for a long time,” said Hill. “It’s gotten so bad that I know some coaches will not even bring their athletes here to compete. Obviously, that’s a big problem. Our parking and traffic flow also need a lot of work.”

As the steering committee continues its work, Roland-Story community members will have numerous opportunities to provide their input and feedback on potential solutions to the athletic facility needs. This will include an upcoming survey and further community engagement events.

The steering committee is charged with examining the facility’s needs and making a recommendation to the School Board. Based on this recommendation, the board may decide to place a bond issue question on a future ballot to provide funding for renovations or improvements to the site.