...why can't Madison HS do the same?
Speaking of new gyms, the South Dakota Board of Regents meets this week in Rapid City to discuss, among other things, the University of South Dakota's proposal to add on to the Dakota Dome. USD wants to build a new arena for basketball and volleyball along with some sports office and classroom space. USD hopes to consolidate their Health, Phys Ed, and Rec program into this one facility. The Dome itself may also get some repair and bleacher updates.
Agenda item III-K doesn't offer a dollar figure for the project yet (just developing the plan will cost $50K), but it does say up front that funding will come from private funding and possible federal grants to complement our Higher Education Facility Fund dollars.
South Dakota State University is also on the Regents' agenda with a proposal to raze Coughlin Alumni Stadium and build a new 20K-plus-seat football stadium. Agenda item III-F says SDSU anticipates funding the new facility through a combination of fees, sponsorships, and private donations. The $400K to $600K price tag for mere development of the plan will come entirely from private gifts to the SDSU Foundation.
SDSU also wants to build a new indoor all-sport training facility (agenda item III-H). Developing the facility plan will cost $250K to $350K. Proposed funding appears to come entirely from gifts and sponsorships.
Given that our state universities have established this model of significant private funding for their expanding sports facilities, it seems odd that our local school board hasn't gotten the message and opened the discussion of its $8.4 million new gym proposal with a call for private donors and sponsorships. The Schaefer Dome? Prostrollo Arena? (We could triple the sponsorship value of the latter by changing the team name from the Bulldogs to the White Buffaloes.) Perhaps the big donors to the South Dakota Basketball Hall of Fame could strike a deal to raise half the funds for the new building in return for winning permanent display space for its memorabilia.
Madison's new gym is a luxury with little direct educational value. If the Madison Central School Board approves this luxury project, it should seek private donations to cover at least half of the $8.4 million price tag.
Update 22:35 CDT: In related news, Jeff Martin writes today's edition of that Sioux Falls paper about Mayor Mike Huether's plan to cover $15M to $24.5M of the $99.5M cost of his proposed events center with revenue from naming rights, premium seating, and other private donations. Let's assume the Sioux Falls market is a hundred times more valuable than the Madison market... we might still be able to swing $100K for naming rights?
I was also thinking about what we could do with $8.4 million dollars on other sites around town. We could renovate the Masonic Temple top to bottom and still have cash left to renovate every deteriorating storefront on Main Street. We could seal and stabilize every old building at Prairie Village and add a lakeside hotel and restaurant.
Or we could give $10,000 bonuses to 86 teachers every year for ten years.
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