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Field of Dreams donation money running out, district plans to raise more

Posted at 5:47 PM, Apr 12, 2024

(PULASKI) NBC 26 — The Pulaski Community School District is now seeking options to pay off about $1.2 million in debt from the Field of Dreams project as donation funds run low.

  • A little less than $5 million was raised for the construction of new athletic fields at Pulaski High School
  • The district has the next five years to pay off the debt, with the next payment due in March 2025
  • The school district says it plans to sell naming rights and advertising at the field to raise the rest of the money

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Thanks to millions in donations, Pulaski's Field of Dreams is now a reality. But, turns out, it wasn't enough cash. I'm your Pulaski neighborhood reporter Pari Apostolakos with the options the district's considering to tackle their debt.

Over the next five years, the Pulaski school district will have to pay off about $1.2 million in debt from the Field of Dreams project.

The district's business services director Mark Logan says the project goes back to 2016, when the district took out debt for the construction.

"The project was $5.9 million," he said. "Again, if you look at the facility today it's probably an eight or nine million dollar facility."

He says most of the money, about $4.7 million, was raised by a steering committee through donations.

"The steering committee acts on behalf of the district, but really it's a district project," Logan said. "It's an owned asset."

But now, only $90,000 in donation funds are left.

Logan says the district hopes to collect the rest through advertising at the field and by selling new naming rights.

"We've had ... 1,200 events, we have daily practices," he said. "Everything from Easter egg hunts to special Olympics. So, you know, it's a great asset to us and, you know, kind of a future income generator for us."

He says if the district cannot come up with the rest of the cash through more donations or advertising, the money will come out of the district's budget.

"This year it would be put in the budget to make the payment out of a fund balance knowing that potential funds [are] coming in at a later time," Logan said.

The district has just under a year to find more money. It says it's next payment for more than half a million dollars is due in March 2025. In Pulaski, Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.