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Administrators, athletes break ground for new Idaho Falls High School sports complex

Local

IDAHO FALLS — High school students will soon be able to call sports practice fields their own after a groundbreaking took place Thursday afternoon.

The Tiger Athletic Complex (TAC) broke ground with the help of District 91, the Tiger Club, the Idaho Falls Board of Trustees, parents and student athletes from Idaho Falls High School.

Everyone stood by heavy machinery with a big pile of dirt and golden shovels. Later, administrators and students lifted the shovels up with dirt to welcome construction for the new fields.

“It’s exciting for all of us that this vision has become reality,” said Chris Powell, Idaho Falls High School principal. “Our kids are passionate about their activities and I think that it’s our responsibility to give them the opportunity to pursue those passions while they are learning.”

The complex is located off of East 49th Street near Holmes. The property is 60 acres but not all of it will be used strictly for the complex. It will be located near the proposed site of a new Idaho Falls High School, however, the project is separate from the complex.

Idaho Falls High School currently has no home fields and most of the athletic teams practice and play on city fields scattered throughout the city. The Tiger football team has been practicing in a retention pond behind the school that is normally filled with storm debris.

“Softball has been such a big part of my life and having to play on the city field has not been my favorite in high school,” said Giselle Kump, a senior at Idaho Falls High School. “I am excited for the future of Tiger softball and to see my little sister play on these fields.”

Kump thanked the board and parents for the help they provided to make the complex happen.

The groundbreaking has been years in the making. The project is a public-private partnership that includes private donations raised to fund part of the complex.

“This project is a result of immense teamwork by parents, coaches, volunteers, community members and alumni,” said Heather Thompson, director of the Tiger Club, who will oversee private fundraising to raise additional money to develop the complex.

The Idaho Falls Board of Trustees set aside $2 million in reserve funds last year to start work on TAC.

“As the concept came forward, we needed a great place for our students to be able to not only practice but come together and just have a great time in learning skills outside of school and so this particular property is going to serve that purpose…we are pretty excited about it,” said Jim Shank, District 91 superintendent.

complex rendering
Rendering of TAC. Phase 1 is in yellow and will include the practice fields for baseball, softball and football as well as a gravel parking lot. | Courtesy D91

According to Shank, TAC’s first phase will begin right away with leveling land, planting grass and implementing irrigation. He said it would include building practice fields for baseball, softball, football and possibly soccer.

Shank said he is hoping the first phase will be finished sometime next year. There are two other phases that will take years to complete and will have additional fields, including tennis courts and soccer.

the groundbreaking
Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
machinery
Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
dump druck
Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
people showing support
Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
everything together
Andrea Olson, EastIdahoNews.com
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