MUSKEGO - The Grid Iron Club has launched an ambitious campaign to raise $1.3 million for synthetic turf and a state-of-the-art scoreboard for the Muskego High School football stadium.
Muskego High School is the only school in the Classic 8 athletic conference not to have synthetic turf, said Paul Peardon, Grid Iron Club president. The fundraising campaign will have a communitywide aspect with benefits that also involve the community as whole.
The Grid Iron Club is the booster organization for high school football, but synthetic turf is not just for the prep team, nor would it be strictly for football uses, Peardon explained.
Better when wet
Muskego's football programs are for grades one through 12, Peardon said, and Muskego Youth Football will get to use the high school stadium.
With synthetic turf, the young teams can play even after rainstorms where grass fields would be torn up, Peardon said.
At present, the younger players get shifted to various locations for games when it rains. "Sometimes they're playing in open fields," he said.
Muskego Youth Football has already pledged $100,000 toward the goal, he added.
Also, the synthetic turf will enable the Muskego High School band, the largest high school band in the state, to host marching band competitions. Real grass has a tough time standing up to the wear and tear from marching bands, Peardon said.
Peardon said the club is working closely with the district, youth football and the band program on the synthetic turf project.
"The families, kids and the community deserve it," Peardon said.
In addition to funding from youth football, the field has another bigger backer.
Inpro Corp. has pledged $600,000 for the project. (The stadium's formal name is the Inpro Stadium.)
The Inpro owners are not attention-seekers, Peardon said. Rather, "they are the most benevolent partner maybe any community has ever seen."
"It's a good jump start," Peardon said of the $700,000 already pledged.
Raising more funds
Still, more is needed, he said, adding that it will take the whole community to make it happen.
"I hope to count on everybody for their passion and vision," he said.
The club has issued The 100 Challenge, for 100 teams, groups and individuals to contribute $1,000 each.
The group also is selling partnerships to businesses wanting exposure.
The project has the blessings of Muskego-Norway School District officials.
"It's an exciting project that will be good for the community when it's complete," said School Board President Rick Petfalski.
Donations are being accepted at http://bit.ly/2rGkGly.
The turf project will go well with the improvements the school district started this spring, Petfalski said.
"It's a good partnership," he said.
The school district has started installing the stadium's first restrooms, moving the entrance and constructing a concession stand and ticket area. A second phase will greatly expand bleacher seating, plus renovate the press box, resurface the track and make general improvements to the stadium's surrounding areas.