Could the announced plan to upgrade the sports facilities at Alton High School be just the tip of the iceberg? A newly announced plan to create a sports complex on-campus on a nearly 30-acre plot of land behind the high school includes upgrading the current soccer practice field to a game field with a surrounding 8-lane track, and the construction of a varsity baseball facility.
Also part of the $2.5-million plan (pictured) is a pair of multi-purpose fields that will be used for physical education, soccer, football, and Marching 100 practices, a cross-country course, and a new restroom and concession facility. School Board President Ed Gray has visions of that being the first phase, with a second phase possibly including an auxiliary gymnasium and additional tennis courts. Phase three, which Gray doesn't think he will live to see, would be a new football field. Gray says new facilities on-campus are desperately needed.
Gray goes on to say that the State of Illinois may never get its act together as far as funding schools, and at some point you say "enough is enough. I'm tired of denying kids an opportunity." Superintendent Dr. Ken Spells has said that taxes will not increase for residents within the district because the project will be financed by using existing Operations and Maintenance funds, selling bonds from the Operations and Maintenance fund and through private donations. A timetable for the project has not been announced. Gray called in to Z-1570's Let's Talk Special Edition to explain his position.