Cutting Field is looking to get a makeover thanks to the generosity of some local individuals and businesses.
David Mieure, activities and athletics director for Williston Public School District No. 1, approached the school board at their Monday, April 15, meeting to bring forth a proposal to make some much-needed improvements to the field, located behind Wilkinson Elementary. Mieure told the board that the issue had been something he had been considering for some time.
“There was talk about two years ago, Coach (Steve Powell) had approached me and said ‘What can we do to work on Cutting Field, it’s kind of a safety hazard,’” Mieure explained to the board.
At the time, he continued, there were plans in the works to construct a new elementary building on the site, which he said would have complicated efforts to try and repair the field, considering it would be covered by the new building. As those plans changed, he said, Mieure was approached again by Powell, who is Williston Middle School’s head football coach. Mieure said Powell had contacted some individuals he knows in the community to see if they would be willing to assist in the field’s overhaul.
“The Cutting Field football field right now, if the middle of the field were able to grow grass, you’d probably have deer come and bed in it. At this point it’s a slough. So it’s caused some problems with the kids. As the head of the middle school football, my first priority is to make sure the kids are safe.” Powell told the board. “It was all about finding people way smarter than me when it comes to these renovations. I put together a group that has the soil, in fact multiple people including JMAC and the City of Williston, just happen to have some extra dirt lying around. We may be able to cover a couple facilities with that. So we’ve come up with a group of people that are willing to donate time and resources.”
Powell continued that companies such as JMAC, MMI Excavation and Jerry’s Weed Service had all offered their services to get the field back into tip-top shape.
All-in-all, Mieure told the board, around $15,000 worth of resources have been offered to repair the field.
“These guys have thought about it and put a pretty good plan together, it’s just a matter of when we can get started.” Powell said. “Hopefully we can start playing on it again in September.”
While the companies and individuals involved are happy to help, Mieure explained, they were looking to the board for a pledge that the work would not be wasted by future construction projects.
“These groups were kind of hoping to get some assurance from (the board) to say ‘If we’re going to put this much energy and effort into it, that it will remain as Cutting Field and their efforts aren’t going to be bulldozed over in three to five years.” he said.
Board President Joanna Baltes thanked Powell and Mieure for their efforts and applauding the community for stepping up and being willing to assist in the project. While she said she could not “lock down” the board and say that the Cutting Field site would not be used in the future, she added that it was not part of the board’s long-term strategic plan and there were no plans in the works to get rid of it.
“I think it’s probably safe,” Baltes said. “I don’t think we can make any promises, but since we don’t have any money to do anything right now, I think three to five years is probably safe to state that we’re not going to be touching that field and we’re not going to be building anything there.”
Powell said there’s no timeline for when the work would begin, but he again stated that he hoped it the field could be repaired and ready for use for the next school year. The board voted unanimously to approve the project.