By Matt Brennan
The West Aurora School District has raised approximately $1 million through its Field of Dreams campaign to pay for the artificial turf athletic field installed at West High, according to Neal Ormond, School Board president.
The board received a check for $500,000 from the Community Foundation on Monday, as a first installment toward the field. The Community Foundation is an Aurora-based group that assists local non-profits by managing their fundraising and accounting efforts.
“West Aurora schools have a lot of friends and supporters,” said Sharon Stredde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “They (the donations) continue to pour in.”
The district also made a $1,000 donation to the Community Foundation Monday, in appreciation for donated time and services. The foundation did not charge the School District for managing the funds.
“They’ve allowed us to become so much more efficient and effective,” Superintendent James Rydland said.
Ormond said the district is still seeking donations to cover the remaining $300,000 of the field’s cost. People can still donate by going to the district’s website at www.sd129.org, and clicking on the button to support the Field of Dreams.
He also said the district expects to save between $25,000 and $50,000 per year by not having to perform routine maintenance on the field, such as mowing, watering and fertilizing. The district is also expecting to be able to use the field as a revenue source, renting it to various community organizations for events, he said.
The field was dedicated on Aug. 20.