SHELDON — The ball is being thrown for a football program at Northwest Iowa Community College after its board of trustees unanimously approved a sharing deal with the Sheldon School District for a new turf field.
Donors are lined up and everything is on the move for Sheldon Institution’s second varsity sport after the addition of a shooting team in spring 2019.
NCC President John Hartog led a discussion on the likely agenda at the September 21 board meeting. He stressed that he was not seeking approval for a soccer program. Instead, he wanted the board’s blessing for a public entity agreement with the Sheldon School District, known as the 28E agreement.
“The decision before you today is not a football decision per se, but it is the football that drives that decision that we are presenting to you for your consideration,” Hartog told the administrators.
However, the pitch was still sport-centric.
Rumors of Thunder soccer have run through the NCC administration for years. President Emeritus Alethea Stubbe told The REVIEW that this was one of the few things she wished she had accomplished but did not do during her tenure at the helm.
His successor said the pieces are finally coming together. Just days after the board meeting, Sanford Health and Premier Communications donated $ 150,000 and $ 50,000, respectively, to the turf field. On October 5, Citizens State Bank also announced a contribution of $ 50,000.
Hartog mentioned the enduring themes of community college, synergy and partnership, as the main reasons CNC got involved. The field would give the college access to a high quality playing and training ground, changing rooms and more.
The entire facility is expected to cost $ 1.5 million, which includes a turf field and a new dashboard at the Sheldon High School complex. NCC’s share of the bill would be $ 325,000, which Hartog says is “obviously less” than if the college decided to go it alone. About $ 1.1 million needed for the project has already been raised, which includes CNC’s share.
“Really, from a college perspective, it would be an advantage to enter into this partnership,” he said.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring and be ready for Sheldon High School football game day by fall 2022. NCC would likely take at least one school year after that and start playing in 2023 or 2024.
Administrators raised questions about the logistics of cohabitation with the school district, such as what would happen if there were scheduling conflicts.
Reservation issues should be minimal as college soccer is a fall sport while high school soccer season begins in the spring. Simultaneous kick-off times won’t be a problem either; most college football games are played on Wednesdays and Saturdays, not interfering with Friday night high school football.
Hartog explained that many post-secondary athletics departments – especially those close to the size and location of the NCC – have similar sharing agreements with their local school districts.
Details of the program are yet to come, Hartog said. He said the college would like to have male and female teams and use sports as a way to recruit future students and promote a collegial atmosphere at the two-year school.
“Part of the mission of a complete community college is the further development of the individual, and part of that maturing process has to do with relationship building and the physicality of the body,” Hartog said. “This recruitment objective also goes hand in hand with the accomplishment of our mission to improve the college experience. “
The President reiterated that today’s decision was only about sharing the land, but said he was eager to see that mean for the future.
“We are not asking for a document to be inked today, but we ask that you please let it be known that the college is delighted to partner with the local school in this exciting and rewarding endeavor,” he said. he declares.
The board approved the 28E 7-0 deal.
“NCC, as everyone knows, has a long and successful track record of doing good things with limited resources,” Hartog said. “This model guides us, not only in this relationship and this partnership, but in everything we do. “