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MMSD referendum includes several updates to athletic facilities

In November, Madison voters will decide on a $350 million referendum to address numerous capital expenditures in the Madison Metropolitan School District, and a few of the projects impact athletics facilities in use by the high schools.

Perhaps one of the most notable items is in regards to Mansfield Stadium and the outdoors athletics facilities at Madison Memorial, which was opened in 1965. The referendum calls for a complete renovation of Mansfield Stadium, which is used by both Memorial and Madison West, and the installation of turf for all athletic fields. In Dane County, there are already several turf fields for football, including new installations at Sun Prairie and Verona for 2020. Within the Big 8, Middleton has long had turf at Otto Breitenbach Stadium, which had its playing surface replaced two years ago. Madison East plays at Breese Stevens Field, which is not a facility managed by MMSD.

The referendum also includes a turf field upgrade to Lussier Stadium, which would also widen the surface to allow for soccer to be played in the venue, as well as the addition of a baseball field at La Follette.

As for the rest of the outdoor athletics facilities, turf is a rare surface in baseball, while only a handful of schools in the state have it for softball.

Memorial's updates in the referendum include the Mansfield Stadium renovation, a new running track at the stadium, and locker room upgrades. Several other upgrades include the practice and competition surfaces, weight room, bleachers, track, and pool, as well as spaces and facilities used by the community.

To that end, West, which shares some of its athletic facilities with Memorial, also has some big changes in the referendum. West's location doesn't allow for expansion, so the school is looking to add turf surfaces for its own playing fields, and a major project involving a relocation of the school's pool. Like Memorial, West's updates in the referendum seeks upgrades to seating and community spaces, but also looks to update locker rooms, upgrade the gym's bleachers, and to upgrade retaining walls near athletic facilities.

East, like West, can't expand its campus, but like the other schools, seeks upgrades to community spaces. East's update in the referendum is in regards to the field house, which would be renovated into a spectator gym with a new entrance on fourth street (already under construction) and additional seating to expand capacity to 2,000.

Finally, La Follette is seeking a turf field for Lussier Stadium, which would widen the venue's playing surface to allow soccer to be played there, as well as the installation of a baseball field near the school. La Follette's updates in the referendum include major upgrades to the field house, including a new entry to the venue, and updates to community spaces.

If you want to learn more about all projects (and not just those affecting athletics), you can read about them by clicking here.

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