- 1. Why do we need a Fieldhouse?
The Fieldhouse is being built for the future, not just the present. Its three priorities are for academics, athletics and the community. It is a family-friendly facility that will be a magnet for family-friendly activities. There will be classrooms and facilities that have outgrown their capabilities at the existing high schools. Not just games but athletic practices can also be held indoors, especially during weather extremes: Arizona has one of the highest rates of student athlete heat-related illnesses.1/ And community events can be held in a larger venue, some for free and others for rent.
- 2. Why is the school district building it?
The Fieldhouse is for children first. It will provide opportunities for our youth. Once operating, the financial plan calls for revenues above operating costs to be set aside for teacher raises, not the District’s general fund for other expenses. This will help a more competitive pay structure in an area where neighboring California and Nevada schools can pay much more. Geographically, CRUHSD is one of the largest high school districts in the region. It stretches from just north of Lake Havasu City to just across from Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, or well northwest of Kingman. The tax base is spread out enough to minimize impact in any one area. CRUHSD has a property tax; Bullhead City does not.
- 3. Isn’t it unprecedented for a school district to do something like this?
No. One of the first school district-based similar arenas in the U.S. was built in Arizona. The Round Valley Ensphere opened in 1991, built and constructed by the Round Valley High School and Round Valley Unified School District. 2/
- 4. How much does the Fieldhouse cost?
The Fieldhouse cost is approximately $32 million of a $35 million bond approved by voters. The balance is for improvements at Mohave and River Valley High Schools.
- 5. How was the site selected?
While general areas were discussed and preliminary negotiations had begun, nothing could be finalized until it was known if voters approved the school bond. Even with passage, bonds still had to be sold so that the revenue for both land purchase and construction were available.
- 6. How did the idea come about?
A number of community leaders held informal brainstorming sessions in 2015 and 2016 to discuss the pros and cons of a Fieldhouse for the Tri-State community. The concept was presented to the CRUHSD school board in February 2016 during a public meeting and received widespread news coverage in subsequent days, weeks and months. The board voted in June 2016 to place it on the November general election ballot for the public to decide.
- 7. How will it be maintained?
Because the Fieldhouse is, first and foremost, a school building, it will be treated similar to an auditorium or football field. The District has a preventative maintenance contract with GCA Services, and the agreement covering school campuses will be expanded to include the fieldhouse. Additionally, volunteers will assist with clean-up as they do now at school athletic sites.
- 8. Who is building the Fieldhouse?
In January 2017 the CRUHSD board approved Orcutt | Winslow and International Coliseums Corp. for architectural services and CORE Construction as the construction manager. CORE was also the contractor for Lee Williams High School in Kingman, and has already pledged to use local services and subcontractors at every opportunity. Some of CORE’s many other projects may be found here.
- 9. What about cost overruns?
CORE’s contract is for shared risk, meaning that it can be held liable for cost overruns.
- 10. How can the public remain informed about the Fieldhouse?
In addition to public school board meetings, several high-profile public forms have been held. This Fieldhouse-specific website has also been developed to provide updates.
- 11. Won’t the Fieldhouse be expensive to cool or heat?
Based upon current high-use District venues, straight metered electrical costs are estimated to be about $120,000 annually. That does not factor alternative energy plans, which will significantly bring down utility costs. Solar panels are expected to double as covered parking structures, which will be a more efficient use of space than as stand-alone units, and at much less cost than adding them to the Fieldhouse roof. The District hopes to expand solar to generate a complete offset to the Fieldhouse electric bill.
- 12. Who gets to use it?
CRUHSD’s existing policy states, “School facilities and property may be leased to extended day resource programs and any person, group or organization for any lawful purpose in the interest of the community. The purposes include but are not limited to the following: recreational, educational, political, economic, artistic, moral, scientific, social, religious, other civic or governmental. A reasonable use fee shall be charged for the lease of school facilities and property and this fee may be offset by goods contributed or services rendered by the lessee. ‘Reasonable use fee’ means an amount that is at least equal to the cost for utilities, services, supplies or personnel provided to the lessee pursuant to the terms of the lease.
“The Superintendent may permit the uncompensated use of facilities and property by any school related group, including student political organizations, or by any organization whose membership is open to the public and whose activities promote the educational function of the District. ‘Education function’ means uses that are directly related to the educational mission of the District as adopted by the Board and includes the educational mission related uses of parent - teacher organizations, youth organizations and school employee organizations. Use of facilities or property by organizations indicated above that will require a substantial District cost for utilities, services, supplies and/or personnel may be permitted only if goods contributed, services rendered or payments are made to reimburse these costs to the District.” 3/
The Fieldhouse is not intended to be an arena for a professional sports team, although it will be available for professional teams to rent for off-season practice. But that is not its primary purpose.
- 13. What kind of facilities will be available?
For academics, there will be classrooms for career and technical education programs (also known as CTE, previously known as vocational education). One such complex will be for CRUHSD’s award-winning culinary arts program. Students in this program may have the opportunity to cater some meetings or events at the Fieldhouse, gaining additional hands-on experience.
For athletics, the Fieldhouse will have a regulation-size football and soccer field for indoor games and practice. A snap-lock floor can be installed on top for single or multiple basketball or volleyball courts.
For community activities, the snap-lock floor will be able to support everything from catered dinners and award ceremonies to exhibit space and musical programs.
For commercial activities, the Fieldhouse will be available for rent, either fully or in sections.
- 14. Can the booster clubs still run concessions during their schools’ games?
Yes. There will be multiple construction stands as well as a culinary education kitchen.
- 15. How can students become involved in “managing” the building?
There will be many classroom and extra-curricular activities for students to become involved, gaining first-hand experience for college and careers.
- 16. What determines if there’s no charge to host an event or if an organization has to pay rent?
The CRUHSD board is expected to update its facilities use agreements closer to the Fieldhouse opening. However, the basics are expected to be to those outlined above in the “Who gets to use it?” FAQ.
- 17. What kind of free community events will be held?
Those criteria are still being developed with community input. Some activities may be totally free; others might be free to the non-profit organizer but with an entry fee to raise funds for an organization. Examples may include “mall walk”-type programs and visits from elected officials.
- 18. How will revenue from the Fieldhouse help teachers?
When annualized revenues exceed expenses, the District has pledged to use that money for teacher pay raises, in addition to --- not instead of --- State funding.
- 19. How will this help local contractors?
CORE Construction has pledged to use local contractors and subcontractors whenever possible.
- 20. How will this help local businesses?
Events such as tournaments generate business for restaurants, hotels and retail establishments as out-of-town visitors come to the area. A late 2014 economic development study showed the positive impact sports tournaments have on this region. According to the study, a three-day tournament per team impact for baseball is as much as $24,000. A tournament with 54 teams could generate $1.3 million in economic activity. A boys’ soccer tournament with 360 teams could generate $8.6 million to $10.4 million in economic activity. A girls’ soccer tournament with 360 teams could generate between $10 million and $12.5 million. 4/
- https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/more-states-blow-the-whistle-on-high-school-football-heat-illness/, http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/extreme-weather/index.php#heat-schools
- https://www.elks.net/dome/dome.asp, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Round_Valley_Ensphere
- http://policy.azsba.org/asba/Z2Browser2.html?showset=allmanuals – Section KF-C
- http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/tourneys-a-boost-to-local-economy/article_fd3f2d1c-7b8b-11e4-9f4a-37d0da2e4424.html and http://www.bullheadcity.com/home/showdocument?id=1563 – Item 3, Pages 231-232