Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Parks Board Laments Lack of UC Money for Field

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Parks Board Laments Lack of UC Money for Field

Article excerpt

The Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission has been trying to raise money to replace the turf on Schoenbaum Field in Coonskin Park, but they know they won't be getting it from one source - the University of Charleston. The University of Charleston Board of Trustees voted not to contribute any money to Schoenbaum Field beyond the amount that they pay to rent to use the facilities. That has members of the county parks board upset.

"They felt like they didn't have any obligation to do anything for the field, said Parks Commission President Allen Tackett at the county Parks Commission meeting Wednesday. "They have utilized it more than anyone and probably worn it out more than anyone."

The parks commission has been trying to figure out where to get the money to replace the turf for around two years.

They discovered that the field needed to be fixed after a major thunderstorm flooded the field two years ago and, since the field was still under warranty, they were able to strike an agreement in which the parks board would only have to pay a third of the total cost.

But raising money to get the $300,000 hasn't been easy, even as the parks board has received funds to make other major improvements to the park.

Tackett has asked the Kanawha County Commission, Kanawha County Schools and even the governor's office for money to finance the project.

The University of Charleston decided not to contribute to the resurfacing of the field because the trustees felt that any money beyond what they pay to use the field should go to making a soccer stadium of their own.

While the park charges teams to use the field, Kanawha parks officials say that the money only covers general maintenance of the field.

"As we move forward, we're pleased to keep renting the field, said Dave Traube, the spokesman for the University of Charleston.

There was some discussion of raising the rental rate for UC at the parks meeting, as well as lowering the cost for organizations that use the field and contribute money. …

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