Approval of $3.25 million in improvements to Bettendorf High School athletic facilities is good news to high school principal Jimmy Casas.

 "Obviously we just feel so elated at the opportunity to continue to improve our facilitites and continue to provide the best environment we can for our student athletes," Casas said after the school board approved the expenditure. "We have a lot of pride in everything we do and every time we do school improvements, it brings the community together."

Board members unanimously approved the construction and renovation project at TouVelle Stadium. The upgrade will replace the stadium’s grass field with synthetic turf, reconfigure the eight-lane track and install a new and brighter lighting system. Other projects include a new ticket booth and entry plaza and renovations to the home-side concessions and restrooms.

Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, or PPEL, and the 1 percent local-option sales tax will fund the project.

Construction is slated to begin May 3 and finish by mid-August, just in time for Bettendorf’s first home football game of the 2014 season.

The bid was awarded to Russell Construction of Davenport, which also completed the school’s $16.2 million renovation last spring that added an 840-seat performing arts center, a new entrance, office space, library renovation and a new district administration center.

Bettendorf’s Superintendent Theron Schutte said the school community is looking forward to more improvements to district facilities.

“Coupled with all the other work done in the high school in the recent past, our facilities have seen a significant facelift,” Schutte said. “This is an opportunity to retain the beauty of the existing facility, modernize it and bring it up to speed for the needs of today.”

The $2.8 million second phase of Bettendorf Middle School’s renovation and expansion project also is slated to finish before the start of the 2014-15 school year.

The synthetic turf has been the driving source for the project, which has been in the works for at least five years, high school athletic director Kevin Skillett said.

“It’s a big advantage for schools because it’s much safer and the life expectancy and durability is really good,” he said. “To actually have it all come together in one project is absolutely incredible.”

Many of Iowa’s larger high school stadiums already have turf. Pleasant Valley High School rolled out its artificial turf field in 2010, and Davenport’s Brady Street Stadium first installed AstroTurf in 1998.

Head football coach Aaron Wiley said new turf is something his team has needed for quite some time.

"The ability to practice on rainy days is something we've battled for years so it's going to be nice that we'll have a facility that we can go to on those days," he said. "It's great they decided to pull the trigger and make the move."

Skillett said the boys and girls soccer teams no longer will have to worry about canceled or postponed games because of field conditions.

Besides minor renovations, this project will be the largest reconfiguration TouVelle Stadium has seen since its construction in 1979, Skillett said.

“When people walk through the new entryway, it’s going to look like a completely new stadium,” he said. “We have the expectation that we want the ‘wow factor,’ and I think community members and fans who see the field are going to sense that and be proud of this project.”

(36) comments

Vagabond

Just to set things straight.. Both my boys were heavily recruited by Bettendorf and it was at a the Rising Knight Football. Recruiting pressure was terrible and full of promises to a point we avoided the coaches.

ArandomGuy

HA thats not recruiting. You obviously don't know what recruiting is. Some saying hey you should really go here or there so you win isnt recruiting? Even if people at the school said hey we know people who can help you move into your house or even find a place to live that isnt recruiting. Until you can prove to me that your children was being given benefits for attending one school or another thats not recruiting.

This is how recruiting works. The school would pay for the tuition, buy the parents a house, someone from the school picks you up every single day in car to take you to school, and they get the parents jobs etc etc all so the kids would attended school there. Never has happened at Bettendorf. So, once again until things like this are happening its not recruiting. Your sons were probably good athletes on a team with kids from Bettendorf and people suggested you send them there. If your kids would of said they wanted to move there you would of let them go after all there is open enrollment.

ArandomGuy

Oh and to set the record straight I played Rising Knights and now ive coached rising knights for 4 years and Ive NEVER EVER seen a Bettendorf football coach there. So, you may be mistaken with the Coaches from the Rising Knights teams that used to made up of mainly Bettendorfs kids. Those guys have nothing to do with the High School team.

Vagabond

Bettendorf's recruiting has been out in the open. Heck, even the QCTimes did an article about a kid named Berry who with his sister lived in an apartment paid for by the boosters. Berry was deep in West High territory and should had gone there. Bad thing with Bettendorf with the 80 kids that are on varsity, not all see playing time where they would had started if they would had gone to their respective schools.

Always right

Don't be mad at Bettendorf that kids from other districts want to go there. When you have a winning tradition kids want to be a part of that tradition. This has been the same stadium at Bettendorf since the 80's so it definitely time for a new field. The Davenport schools and PV have had a better playing field than Bettendorf for a while now. Bettendorf is just trying to keep up with the other teams in the MAC. Plus can you blame a kid if he didn't want to play for Davenport West and he had an opportunity to play at Bettendorf, what colleges are going to look at kids from West?

ArandomGuy

Haha please its all hear say. The Boosters werent paying for the apartment they helped find the apartment and helped find the movers to help moved them in. Wanna know how I know? I was friends with his parents and we talked about it. They used to laugh just like everyone else from Bettendorf about the "recruiting" rumors. They let there kids choose which school they wanted to go to and they said Bettendorf and thats the end of it.

Bobaloo

I'm glad Bettendorf has a good plan laid out to upgrade its football stadium. Also was impressed with PV's upgrade a couple of months ago, and Brady Stadium a few years before that. The new Assumption/SAU complex will be a real asset for them as well.

So who's left out? Why, North Scott, where (at least the past) school board doesn't seem to think upgrading athletic facilities is that important. We're the only one left with a small baseball scoreboard and a tiny football scoreboard rather than SOTA. Poor lighting there, too ... and while yes they did get a new set of visitor bleachers recently, they got ones about half the size of the old ones!

Think they're trying to save money? Doubtful. Ask their operations manager why no sports upgrades are on the horizon ... it's not cost or "focus on academics" ... I'll just say that.

ArandomGuy

^^^ Well said PVs upgrades set a high standard for stadiums in the community. North Scott is a growing community with strong athletic programs and I'm sure they wont be far behind to get the upgrades.

mll2010

Kaenom…..maybe you haven't been to a game in a couple of years, but this past season a new sound system was installed. There were a few glitches at first, I believe it was an installation issue, but it turned out great!

Arc Angel….you are correct, been a while since Bett beat AHS. You must have missed the playoff game between Bettendorf and PV. Recap…..Bettendorf ended up playing CRXavier in the semifinal game in Cedar Falls. Facts son, facts!

Vagabond

It's a shame the what really comes out of this is just another recruiting tool for Bettendorf to pull in better athletes for outside the city. Let's face it, Bettendorf can not field a team without those who transfer in from outside city limits. St Ambrose's purpose is to do just the same. Building a better facility brings in quality athletes plain and simple.

mll2010

You're kidding, right?! That is one of the most ridiculous claims on this comment section yet. I know for sure that there is NO recruiting. Do other athletes want to come to Bettendorf to win??? Sure they do…..that cannot be helped. Field turf is not a recruiting tool. If you claim that it is then why has the recruiting topic been around for years and Bettendorf played on grass???? Your statement does not hold water….neither will field turf! Field turf is for player safety, for better management of time and schedules, will benefit the Band for their performances, preparation and competitions. Bettendorf will be able to host tournaments and events. Gym class will be better utilized and more options for the students to participate in gym class. The new field will help boys and girls sports, make it safer and more pleasant to look at whether raining, snowing or shining. Vagabond, people like comments….especially when comments are backed by facts not jealous opinions.

ArandomGuy

Dont listen to that guy hes just trying to stir things up. When people move to the Quad Cities they always want to move to Bettendorf of PV and with Bettendorfs football history and open enrollment of course the kids pick Bettendorf.

Payton34

The city of Davenport(Mayor Gluba and others) is an absolute joke. They and the neighbors are missing the point: It's already a sports complex. SAU has been very fair in their proposal and they have even down sized the stadium. About half of these stadiums in high school and small colleges are in residential areas. Why are the residents around AHS so "special"?

Arc Angel

Now all you have to do is beat AHS and PV!

ArandomGuy

Amen to that

HonestAbe

Because that never happens?

Kaenom18

For all those complaining, the renovations are being paid for with the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy. In the elections this past September, the PPEL was up for renewal. According to the QCT, it passed 1370 to 214. I'm sure all of you who are unhappy voted, right?

MrToby

Couldn't these funds have been put in a rainy day account? No wait, we spend away, then when we need more, we authorize more property tax increases, more sales tax options. Not sure 3.25 million needed for stadium improvements...

ArandomGuy

Like it has already been said the money is coming from the .01 sales tax that was voted on. Its been voted on multiple times for many different things. The last time the school district sat on the money in the "rainy day fund" its almost lost it all because the PPEL states the money must be spent on School district improvements in a certain amount of time. I dont understand why people are so mad about a 35 year old stadium is getting improvements? Tell me what else the money should of been spent on now that you know that it cant be spent on anything except for Facilities and that doesnt include computers, books and hiring more teachers?

olenumber7

PV Stadium almost entirely private donations. Problem is we all get hit with the sales tax. Stadium is Small Potatoes vs the $16MM for the Theater.

ArandomGuy

Yes and you see what that got them. They are having major troubles paying it off now. People have offered plenty of times to pay for field turf and lights for Bettendorf but the school wouldnt allow it because they said they got to divide the money anyway they saw fit. If they had PVs administration they would of had turf in the early 2000s

Kaenom18

Let's hope a couple of those dollars are going to a new sound system.

FootballFan

Awesome. Bettendorf needed to upgrade their stadium. The lighting was so poor compared to others in the city that it was a night and day difference compared to every school in the state. Also, the field was horrible if it rained at all it was a mud pit so Im glad that now everyone who plays both Bett and away teams will now have a safe surface to play on. Anyone who's ever played on that field knows what Im talking about.

I still laugh at everyone and anyone who says that the money should be used to "help kids prepare for college." The kids at every school in the city have all the tools they need to prepare for college. You don't see any of them without the books, computers, and teachers they need to do their school work and learn the material. At some point you have to hold the students responsible for learning what is presented to them. Also, the field will help all athletic teams and the band prepare for their competitions by providing an all weather surface to practice on. Even with these upgrades the facilities are still average compared to those around the state. Good for Bettendorf on finally joining the 21st century and providing a great new Stadium for all the athletes who play there and a place fans will enjoy going to watch games.

hawkbettfan2

Lot of people upset by this today - where were those people when PV remodeled or North added the YMCA athletic facility.

Betttaxpayer

Majority of the PV stadium remodel was with a private donation, not taxpayer funded!

hawkbettfan2

Not entirely. Ease up on the taxpayer paying comments I mean my god. The Physical Plant & Equipment levy and SAVE (.01 sales tax) are utilized which are set forth for renovations to several school facilities such as the performing arts center, gym, and now football soccer complex. Someone always has to complain. These renovations are occurring in all areas of the school not just athletics.

ArandomGuy

Ummm so what would you suggest then? The PPEL tax is .01 on goods sold in Bettendorf and can only be spent on FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS? Like someone else said the kids have all the teachers, books, and technology they need at every school in Bettendorf plus a new performing arts center and administrative center?? If you have a problem with it you should of voted or ask the Schools administrators and School board about why they didn't take the money offered to them years ago to do these improvements.

ttdad

Maybe if they cancel the computer classes they can put a dome over it as well.

hawkbettfan2

? Computer classes is this 1995? Or middle school for that matter? High schoolers need to learn ababa on the keyboard? Ha

olenumber7

Should help recruiting efforts.

hawkbettfan2

As does the 16 million dollar performing arts center.

ttdad

Silly me. I always thought the focus of high school was to get kids ready for college or a vocation.

hawkbettfan2

Oh it is but some students prefer sports. Those of support of vocation can excel at the industrial center, commercial arts department, or brand new performing arts center

hawkbettfan2

The homes that butt up against the school lot near the Football and baseball stadiums are secluded with developed trees and creek beds. SAU seems to have a nice plan laid out and based off plans it too doesn't appear to be in issue with current housing. For people to worry about traffic and people being loud near stadium they realize only about 100 people go to those games - it isn't Kinnick they're trying to build.

hawkbettfan2

Well to be fair the stadium at Bettendorf has been there for 25+ years as has the lighting. Also, the Bett athletic complex in the back of the school is so large no housing has issues. The

Vagabond

What!? No NIMBY's? How could this be that Bettendorf is going to add "brighter lights" and the neighbors are fine with that. Davenport residents can learn a lesson from a top class Bettendorf complex and neighbors who support their schools.

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