After 17 years of sharing McPherson Stadium, McPherson College and USD 418 agreed not to offer a lease of the facility. USD 418 will move on to a new, yet-to-determined, location after the current contract expires.
"It is clear to both organizations that the facility is inadequate to meet the needs of the hundreds of athletes who use the facility on a yearly basis," Gordon Mohn, Superintendent of Schools, wrote in a email to certified staff within USD 418 obtained by the Sentinel. "Although there will not be another lease, McPherson College is committed to supporting USD 418 by providing access to the stadium when it is not in use, particularly for varsity games and track meets."
USD 418 started joint leasing the athletic facilities with McPherson College in 2002, an agreement that lasted through 2012. Both schools agreed to a second lease after the first one expired. There are three years remaining on the current lease.
USD 418 pays an annual amount, and the college would agree to the terms along with matching its funds for the renovations of the stadium. The enhancements on the current lease included a new entrance, seating, ticket booth, fan concourse, upgraded walkways and fencing.
Mac College added new turf and a track three years earlier than planned because of the increase of usage of the facility. The college is responsible for maintenance and liability.
All the coaches collaborated in producing a schedule for the 15 teams using the stadium. Bulldog athletics has seen the increase of student-athletes every year since the first lease was signed 17 years ago. According to Mohn, the number of student-athletes using the stadium has doubled since the 2002 lease was signed.
“The facility at McPherson College has been inadequate to meet the needs of McPherson
College, McPherson High School and McPherson Middle School and the McPherson
community for many years,” Mohn wrote. “Over the past several years, growth in programs at
McPherson College and USD 418 has magnified those inadequacies.”
McPherson College also works with community sporting events, such as McPherson Area Special Olympics, McPherson Youth Football Association and the Youth Track and Field Club.
USD 418 will hold future meetings to create a plan to find a new home for its athletic programs. McPherson College will also participate in the meetings.
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