Open to the Public

June 1, 2018

Some Minnesota schools have opened their athletic facilities to the public, gaining revenue and other benefits. According to the Star-Tribune, the Prior Lake-Savage School District is one such example, as its enrollment has grown rapidly in recent years. Without a community center for youth athletics, the school has ended up serving the community's needs.

“We look at our facilities first as community assets,” Russ Reetz, Athletics Director, said. “We want our stakeholders — voters that are passing levies — to have access.”

Shakopee High School is in the process of expanding its school, including a new field house and competition gym, and a multi-use field with a track.

“A little something for everybody,” Shakopee activities director John Jahnke said. “Part of the reason for building it was the desire to provide opportunities not only for our own students but those from outside as well.”

St. Michael-Albertville High School in Minnesota requires memberships to access its athletic facilities, and the revenue from the fees is used to cover costs.

“Memberships are pretty reasonable,” Cornell said. “We have a young and vibrant community that wants opportunities.”

Reetz said that as demand for facilities grows, school districts will have to think about how best to fill that need.

“Some districts keep up with the growth, other districts stagnate and fall behind,” Reetz said. “Our goal is to provide the type of facilities our stakeholders can be proud of.”

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