by: Brady Dunn and Brigham Taylor
from sports journalism
The community of Rexburg and supporters of Madison sports look forward to a new sports complex behind Madison High School. It will be a huge upgrade considering Madison’s sports teams have had to practice and play at the Junior High School which is located all the way across town. With a stadium, track field, baseball and softball diamonds, and bleachers that are old and outdated.
The Junior High is comparable to many smaller school districts facilities in the state, and don’t live up to our schools’ status. The bleachers also don’t have the capacity to seat all those who wish to attend and support their teams at these sporting events, especially if our school and community continues to grow. This new stadium will provide a better experience for those watching and participating in the sport, and will hopefully advance the level of play for Madison sports.
Erick Wills — The Madison Athletic Director — says that safety is one of the biggest reasons for building the new facility.
“Right now we have kids at 3:30 in the afternoon driving across town to go to their practices which also at a Junior High where there’s a lot of traffic and kids over there,” he said.
The multi-use stadium will have lines for soccer, football and lacrosse on an astroturf field. The stadium will hold about 7,000 people in the bleachers — 5,000 on the home side and 2,000 on the visitor’s side — with an area on each end of the field for people to sit on a grass hill and watch the game.
When is the school going to start building?
There are already volunteers working on the soccer fields, baseball and softball diamonds. Depending on the weather and volunteer participation, these projects are expected to be finished in the fall of 2018.
The school then plans on putting in a request for a grant to fund the rest of the project and hope that the grant will be given to them based on the hard work and dedication that they have already put into improving the facilities. They expect to receive the bond in the next eighteen months. Once they receive it they plan on beginning work immediately. They hope to have the project done in three years.
The new facility will add additional parking behind the school so students can park closer to the athletic wing and the new fields. This will be a major upgrade to the limited parking that the school has right now.
With the added parking the school plans on adding more auto entrances to the school. Right now any high schooler at Madison will tell you that traffic — both before and after school — is a huge problem and has caused multiple accidents over the years.
“There will be three entrances,” Wills said, “There will be one to the North [that is] out by Burton Elementary, There is one out to 12th [West] that is there now that will actually be a four-lane road, and you’ll be able to [come in] to the west of the school.”
The new addition is greatly anticipated by everyone at Madison High School and will make it easier for Madison’s sports teams to practice and more convenient for the fans. The fans now will just have to go to the High School to watch games rather than have to drive to the Junior High to view the activities.
As well as increase Madison’s fan base’s experience it will also increase the visiting fans’ experience. They will now just have to get off the highway and go west rather than having to drive all the way across Rexburg just to watch a sporting event.
The final plans call for two new baseball fields, two softball fields, a football, soccer, and lacrosse stadium, a track field, five new practice fields, an indoor tennis facility with four courts, six outdoor tennis courts, a track for cross country and a new auxiliary gym with a new wrestling room on the top floor.