Le Mars sports complex rendering 2

A rendering show plans for a new sports stadium at the Le Mars Community High School.

LE MARS, Iowa | The 2018 football season will be the last for Le Mars High School's grass field as the school board has approved plans for a $4.6 million major renovation of the aging sports complex.

Le Mars School District Superintendent Steve Webner said the school board members on Tuesday approved the architecture plans prepared by Cannon Moss Brygger Architects of Sioux City for what has been called a "showcase stadium."

"The (community) response has been one of strong support and excitement for the project. They believe it will be a great project for the community of Le Mars," Webner said.

Plans include replacing the existing grass football field with turf, installing a new track and modernizing grandstand bleachers. Work also involves a new scoreboard, press box, lighting, visitor’s bleachers and fencing.

Webner said the work will begin after the football season ahead, and the planned work will be done by August 2019.

The current facility, located on the high school grounds at 921 Third Ave. SW, was built in 1959.

The project will be financed by a $2 million donation from the Le Mars Community School Foundation and from a school district fund filled with a 1-cent sales tax. An anonymous donor in 2017 gave $2 million to the foundation to boost the possibility of a "showcase stadium" for the community, Webner said, and other fundraising has since continued.

At one point the estimated cost of the project was at nearly $5 million.

Upcoming steps include selecting a contractor for the work. Webner noted the plans to date have been developed in collaboration with school personnel, the school foundation and community members.

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