The NEW South High School track and field is coming by the fall of 2018!
For all of you that helped make this happen, thank you.
Below is a preview of what is to come.
All that will make this perfect, is 1,580 screaming, cheering students, parents, guardians and South High fans in the stands come opening day of our new field!!!
Take a look now AND please remember to go to the South High Foundations web site and help us fund a few of the needs of the coaches and athletes that they have been hoping to make this new season great. The Foundation is the 501(c)3 that the coaches, athletes and booster programs go to when needs are greater than the program can handle. South has been working with hand-me-down hurdles and pole vaults from other schools, among other shortages. Soccer has not had portable goals for practice. Track will now have the ability to host meets and invite schools to the South home, but without a timing system, that is difficult. Every coach would love to stream their games so that every parent, guardian, grandparent or friend would be able to see and cheer their favorite student athlete. Streaming services, cameras, volunteer announcers are needed here too.
This is going to be great and you can be part of that. If you can, go to:
and please label your gift for South High athletics.
Thank you and enjoy the preview!
3/28/18 - MPS presents plans with: 8 lane track with shot put, discus, long jump, high jump, pole vault, 65 x 120 yard field, 1,580 seat bleachers, 4-80' lights, 9' x36' press box, sound system, conduit to each sideline for cabling, wifi.
Issues: Existing and old unsightly chain link fence being reused, undersized storage shed remains. Bleacher considerations to work out. Minneapolis city planning considerations. Future presentation to CNO planned.
Hi and welcome to my blog to inform the South High Community on what is happening and what is not happening in regards to the South High athletic fields and the MPS property on Lake Street between 20th and 21st Avenues.
Currently, MPS has a plan to build a new $29 million building on that block for the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program and the Transition Plus (T+) program.
Many, if not most, of us in the South High community thought was that the property was being acquired for the undersized and worn-out track and fields. Some of us found out in July that was not the case. Not only did we find out that MPS was not considering South High and it's track and field, but it was putting in two MPS programs that will not only lock South into it's current undersized athletic footprint, but may also impact South from an administration standpoint as well.
This blog is a culmination of many of the communications sent over the past few months.
Please understand I'm just a parent at South and not a technology wiz, so I'm sure there are better and more helpful ways to distribute the information. I am very happy to receive help if you can. Thank you!
Please let me know if you would like to be part of asking MPS for a long-term plan for South High School BEFORE any building construction contract is signed and any hole is dug. Contracts can be signed as early as January and digging as early as April, 2017. We just want to know that South is taken care of for the foreseeable future and not forgotten as it has been for the past couple decades.
Please look through this site, the "about" section, the "press" section with the Star Tribune story on the South High fields and reader comments and our "contacts" page.
Please email with any questions, comments AND let me know if we can include your name in support of South High School in communications to the District.
South High parent
MPS Superintendent Ed Graff and MPS Chief Operations Officer Karen DeVet met at South High School this past Thursday, April 27th, to inform South High of MPS intentions with the renovation of the South High field.
More to come on this meeting.
OK. This was a difficult meeting as our exploration and investigation on how we could have procured 30 1/2 Street for the South High field was not allowed to be heard by Mr. Graff. That 26 feet width from the street would have more easily provided the desired space to fit the track, bleachers and ramp and allow vehicle travel outside of the track surface to the storage shed, thereby protecting the track as well.
Some charge school district isn’t communicating with South High
Posted on 24 April 2017 by calvin
Many stunned to learn about new ABE/T+ building along Lake St. instead of expansion of Barnard Field
By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
The question for some neighborhood residents isn’t whether Adult Basic Education and Transition Plus (ABE/T+) need space, but whether they need a new facility next to South High’s athletic fields.
Before they commit to using that land adjacent to South, Ericsson resident, and high school parent Steve Richter wants an assurance from the district that South High has the space needed to complete the Barnard Field project as requested and outlined.
“At this point, we do not have any such guarantees from them,” said Richter. “Once that project is completed, our ability to expand beyond our current footprint becomes very limited.”
Currently, the immigrant-focused Adult Education occupies 54,000 square feet in a three-story building at 2225 E. Lake St. known as the Brown Institute. However, the property was sold for $8 million and is being transformed into a large commercial and residential development by L&H Station.
As part of the sale agreement, MPS was granted up to eight years to relocate the ABE programs and can stay on the property without any assessment against the district for the first three years.
The Transition Plus program currently occupies approximately 64,000 square feet in two levels of the Wilder School at 3320 Elliot Ave. S., and 18-21-year-olds with the Wellstone Program would remain there. With the move, T+ would lose an auditorium, two computer labs and half of a gym.
Community members have several concerns about the cost and size of the proposed ABE/T+ building at 2005 E. Lake St. which is slated to break ground this spring and open in 2018.
“It seems to me that they are attempting to squeeze two programs that currently occupy much more space and have much more parking into a smaller facility, with limited parking. I am concerned because, from some of the descriptions that we heard, this new building may be too small for the programs it houses very soon after it is completed,” said Richter.
“Additionally, if the district is almost $30 million over budget from last year, it seems like this may not be the best time to take on a $30 million project.”
Adding insult to injury, according to South High parent Stephen Dinger, is that the district is building a new $5 million underground parking lot for the ABE/T+ building while there isn’t enough parking for students or teachers at South High.
Dinger suggests that rather than spend so much on a new building, the district use an empty one, such as Cooper School in his neighborhood at 33rd and 45th Ave. S. He pointed out that the closed school has been sitting empty for ten years but has ample space and parking.
He is upset that the district has made its decision about the ABE/T+ building despite community opposition.
“It’s such an extravagant thing at this time,” said Dinger, who attends Parents United For South High (PUSH) meetings.
District isn’t communicating
South High Site Council co-chair Scott Schluter pointed to a January 2016 letter in which the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, Minneapolis Council Member Alondra Cano, South Principal Ray Aponte and Foundation President Ayers all asked MPS to consider South High before moving forward, and MPS did not reply to any of them.
“We have real concerns that MPS is not responding to the needs of the South High community, not only with the athletic facilities but a long-term plan as well,” said S. Schluter.
He is frustrated that South High is still waiting for better athletic facilities.
“There is such a long and dated story to an athletic facility that should have been updated 20 years ago when the plans were first drawn,” said S. Schluter. “We all thought we knew what was happening. We were wrong. We were not part of the process this entire time.”
His daughter, Emma Schluter, a junior at South High, is also frustrated by the miscommunications and misleading that has happened along the way. “It is a well-known fact, among the students, that the athletic facilities are in bad conditions, to put it lightly. Because it is so well-known among the students, many assume that others know the state of the facilities as well,” she pointed out. “Unfortunately, this is not the case.”
According to E. Schluter, students and parents continue to ask, “‘When are the improvements going to happen?’ We’ve been waiting a long time for improvements on the field, and nothing has happened.”
Photo right: Portions of the South High track have worn away to the concrete base, creating an unsafe running situation, pointed out student athlete Emma Schluter. She is frustrated at how unresponsive the district has been to the athletic needs at South High while planning to construct a new facility for Adult Basic Education that would block the ability of South High to expand Barnard Field. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)
S. Schluter and Richter have met with Said Ali, the school board member that represents the area South is located in. He promised to work closer with them and the superintendent to move the project along, and has plans to contact the school board members who represent other parts of the school attendance area, which is much larger than just the neighborhood of Corcoran. It includes all of Longfellow, Phillips, and the neighborhoods south of Corcoran, as well as students, come from the rest of the city.
“We feel a sense of urgency since budgets are being discussed right now and the ABE/T+ project is being put out for bids,” said Richter.
‘I am skeptical’
“I want to continue to give the district the benefit of the doubt, that they will take care of us, but I am skeptical at this point,” said Richter.
“We have sent repeated requests via email and letters to Superintendent Graff and the MPS Board without reply as to what we need to do, who we need to follow up with and how is best to keep this project from getting lost,” said Scott.
“We have sent a plan to the board from the South High Principal, the South High Foundation, the South High Site Council and the chair of the South High Field Committee that would help make an impact on improving the spatial layout of the track and field. All of these requests have had no response.
“That is what we need: an MPS that responds and helps us do now what should have been done 20 years ago.”
South High Field Planning Committee minutes 2/8/17
Attendees: Ray Aponte, Brett McNeal, Dave Wicker, Steve Richter, Scott Schluter, Theresa Bulander, Maddy Tennant, Joe Branca, Emma Schluter, Harold Benson, Judy Ayers, John Sandahl, Derric Johnson, Flannery Clark, Alicia Skow, Anita Newhouse, Jay Pomeroy, Mark Bollinger
Last Meeting's Minutes: - no changes
Last Meeting's Action Items:
- Ray reviewed the results of the survey to the community at large. (187 respondents)
Students 16% Parents 66% Staff 14% SHS Alum 2% Community member 1%
Aware of South High Field concerns via:
News accounts 38% School newsletter 54% School Board 15% Word of mouth, student or other 76% I am not aware 10%
Would lights incline you to attend evening events: Yes 94% No 6%
What field events would you most likely attend: Football 58% Soccer 74% Track and Field 49% Lacrosse 25% Ultimate Frisbee 38% Rugby 16% Events with child (music/cheerlead) 46% Events with child (homecoming...) 44%
Respondent Suggestions: 84
- Brett received maintenance plan from Michael O'Connell, MPS grounds supervisor.
- for every 80-120 hours of field usage field grooming is required
- Dave W. mentioned it is usually done during school day.
- Jay P. added 8-10 average field life with $400-500,000 refurbishing then needed.
- Flannery (CNO) and Ray attended CNO land use meeting to inquire about vacating 30 1/2 St.
- CNO is open to the idea. It was stated that unless MPS owned both sides of 30 1/2 St., the city would not likely support. CNO is waiting to see South High athletic field plan for written support.
- Emma, Maddy and Joe reviewed results of Student Field Survey.
- 94 students responded, 69% athletes
- Questions: How do you envision South's athletic field/facilities?
- What would make you come out to more events/games at Barnard? - Other thoughts and comments.
- Key responses were: regulation size track (8 lanes) and fields, safety, lights, something to be proud of, facilities on par with other schools, better bleachers.
- Foundation notified members of South High field planning.
- Jay Pomeroy, landscape architect with Anderson-Johnson Associates and contracted by MPS, displayed three athletic facility concepts.
- Coach's input that was considered for these plans included; 8 lane track, D area track events, turf minimum 60 x 120, lights, 2000 seat bleachers.
- Other coach's input given included that was not included in these plans were; sound system, press box, scoreboard, better bathrooms, storage areas, pride in aesthetics, Lake Street frontage, turfed practice field, future dome.
- Plan 1 included an 8 lane track, 65 x 120 yard turf field, high jump, long jump, shot put, pole vault and one set of bleachers on south side of field seating 2000.
- Plan 2 included a 6 lane track, 69 x 110 yard turf field along with track features of plan 1. - Plan 3 included a 6 lane track, 69 x 110 yard turf field along with track features of plan 1. 2000 seat bleachers were placed on north side of field.
- Option 3 was set aside due to bleacher placement and impact on concession building.
- Discussion on seasonal dome was stated by Mr. Pomeroy to be cost prohibitive for pre- planning footings, cost of maintenance and payback doesn't pay for itself, minimum 15' more space than currently available would be needed around dome for snow.
- Much discussion on 8 lanes versus 6, whether space around track is needed, options on investigating for 1,2 or 3 feet of more space from 30 1/2 St. and/or sidewalks on 19th and 21st Av., lighting would require city and neighborhood involvement, longevity of materials versus cost, ability to hold track meets and team's tent space, limits due to lack of space.
- Discussion over needing more space and how to ask MPS to purchase part or all of the property on 19th to 20th Av block north of the field was raised to then vacate 30 1/2 Street. MPS is asking city to vacate area between proposed ABE/T+ and South field. Letter from Site Council and the Foundation to MPS Board was suggested.
- Plan 1 was forwarded by Steve Richter as favored and Mr. Pomeroy will move plans 1 and 2 forward with more schematics and calculated costs. Mr. Pomeroy will present that information at the February 27th Site Council meeting.
- Upcoming meetings
- Feb. 13th, 6 pm, PUSH meeting; presentation of preliminary plans, scheduled at 6:45 by Maddy and Emma. Steve and Scott are also planning on attending PUSH meeting.
- Feb. 27th, 4 pm, Site Council Meeting with Jay Pomeroy's presentation of field plans.
- Action item
- Site Council and Foundation requesting MPS Board for land acquisition between 19th and 20th Av S.
Hi South High Supporters,
Just a quick FYI, that students and soccer captains, Maddy and Emma, will be presenting two preliminary plans for the South High field Monday night at the PUSH meeting, 6:30 pm in the South High Media Center.
Steve Richter and I will also be there if there are questions after the presentation.
There are still many concerns, mainly space. There is not enough of it. We may be able to fit an eight lane track and regulation field, but there are many other pieces to that puzzle as well.
The minutes to the last field planning meeting will hopefully be posted to the South High Site Council page tomorrow. I will then add them to the http://mpsneedsaplan.weebly.com/ blog site.
I also then plan to include the preliminary design plans along with what input the architect is and is not currently including in his schematics for the Site Council meeting on February 27th.
As always, any questions or suggestions are welcome.
South High parent
South High Field Planning Committee chair
This is a reminder for the South High Field Planning Committee meeting, this Wednesday, Feb. 8, 4:30pm, South High, Room 133 (same room as last meeting).
Please check through the action items from the last meeting’s minutes to bring to this week’s meeting.
Brett will look in to Washburn maintenance plan
Corcoran neighborhood meeting, Feb. 2. Ray will present for South regarding 30 1/2 Street.
Ray will send coach's survey input requests to Pomeroy.
Scott will have a table at Academic Night, open for questions from parents/students.
Maddy and Emma will present preliminary plan/ideas at PUSH meeting, Feb. 13th.
Joe, Maddy and Emma will put out student info/survey via Southerner/other.
Foundation will send out recap to Foundation list.
Funding options- what funding can district provide
o Stages, start with just Barnard proper
o Limits of district funding likely in spring
Wednesday's agenda items
- past committee meeting's minutes
- committee member reports
- student survey input
- stakeholder's survey input
- Pomeroy preliminary design plans (hopefully)
- assembling input into a plan request: stakeholders from phy ed, security, coaches, students, community, staff, AD….
- PUSH meeting presentation/presenters, Monday, Feb. 13th.
- Field Planning Committee presentation for Site Council, Monday, Feb., 27th.
- MPS Board General Meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 14th.
- Committee’s future
Minutes for the January 25, 2017 Barnard Field Planning Committee have been posted on the South High Site Council Page.
The minutes for the previous meeting, as well as notes from the landscape architect contracted by MPS, are also available on the Site Council page.
As always, feel welcome to ask questions, offer input or attend meetings.
The next committee meeting is February 8, 2017 at South, room TBD.