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Cloverdale to receive new football practice space

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cloverdale is wasting no time as it begins moving forward with its summer projects and programs. Among the list of projects is the installation of a new practice facility for the football program.

Cloverdale varsity football coach John Butler spoke to the board Monday in hopes of gaining approval to install a practice football field.

The practice football field will be a regulation, full-length field, which will also include a scoreboard.

"As part of my five-year plan to improve all aspects of the 'football experience' in our community, the reorganization of the football facility is of high importance," said Butler.

Butler spoke to the board on reorganizing the existing football practice field facility in hopes of increase efficiency by installing a full-length field along with smaller more specialized areas for more effective instruction.

"When coupled with the video technology already purchased and utilized, our football program will have the general resources that the most competitive programs in our state use to maintain their outstanding programs," Butler explained. "This project would require involvement by the grounds maintenance staff at most, if the board does not allow the Cloverdale Football Family Boosters to provide the setting of a new goal post and relocation of the current goal post."

The additional practice field will help with the wear and tear to the primary football field, thus reducing the maintenance costs. It will also provide the necessary physical environment for student-athletes to learn on the field they will compete on.

It will also improve access for all grade levels, enhance the image of the athletic department, which would result in increased pride and enthusiasm among students and hopefully increase the percentage of students who participate in football.

Butler also hopes that the additional field will provide opportunities for additional revenue for the football program by offering invitations to surrounding schools in the spring and summer for interasquad practice sessions.

This project will not be at any cost to the school corporation, as the Cloverdale Football Family Boosters will furnish all costs.

The work and installation of the additional goal post to the new field will be provided by the booster club, with a release waiver of liability to protect the school corporation and to go along with the corporation policies.

The new scoreboard will be purchased from Electro-Mech Scoreboard Company and will cost $5,615. The scoreboard will also be portable and battery-powered. This cost will be divided between the Cloverdale Youth Football League, the Cloverdale Football Family Boosters, along with either the First National Bank-Cloverdale or Owen County Bank.

The CFFB has already donated $1,000 in grass seed, fertilizer and paint for the main goal posts as well as arranged and implemented aeration on both the main and practice field spaces. They will also be paying for the cost of maintaining the portable restrooms until the work at the softball facility is completed.

Butler already spoke to Cloverdale Town Inspector Mark Cassida and the project would not require any specialized permits.

"I think it's going to benefit our kids of all grade levels," said Butler. 'It will hopefully directly affect the way our kids play."

The town approved the additional practice field and the football program hopes to begin working as soon as possible.

Program Director Toni Tomlinson of the Kamp Knoy and Knoy Kidopolis updated the board on the progress of this year's summer camps.

The camps have now completed the first two weeks of the four weeks with 175 students enrolled.

"The summer programs offer students summer fun with an emphasis on hands-on learning," said Tomlinson. "This year's summer offering includes practice on technology based Math and Reading skills, leadership sessions, crafts, nature trail hikes, technology sessions for middle school students, NASA video games and special NASA sessions."

NASA's Summer of Innovation, Project IGNITE!, is now in its second year of Knoy programming. It is due to this effort that science grades for 54 percent of regular program participants at the elementary level maintained or increased for the 2011-12 academic year.

"Results are still being compiled for the middle school but are expected to show a similar if not greater increase," said Tomlinson.

The Summer of Innovation project is designed to help address the shortage of students going into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related majors and fields.

The program pays particular attention to the loss of students in the middle school level.

"This summer's NASA sessions have allowed students to make rock racers, air-powered rockets, edible solar systems and more," explained Tomlinson. "NASA video games engage students while building interest in NASA and space."

It's these video games that are utilized to facilitate STEM concepts and support inquiry-based learning and problem solving.

The school board also approved the resignation of Dianne Gaston as the elementary school secretary.

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