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Council considers warming house, soccer complex proposals
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

November 15. 2013 8:32AM
Two local youth sports organizations are hoping to improve their programs with some cooperation from the city of Brandon.

The Brandon Valley Hockey Association and Brandon Area Soccer Association both had business to be addressed at the Council’s Nov. 4 meeting.

The hockey group submitted a proposal to construct a 20-by-40-foot warming house on city property that houses the hockey and ice-skating rinks next to McHardy Park.
City Administrator Bryan Read said the BVHA would shoulder the building costs.

While Councilors favor the idea, they tabled their decision until further information is received. Read said the property is located in a flood plain, which has different requirements for non-residential structures on that land. For non-residential construction, Read said the buildin

City Engineer Jon Brown said a more formal site plan is needed to evaluate the proposed warming house before the Council takes action.

The BVHA hopes to construct the warming house for use this season.

City soccer fields
With a push to add soccer as a sanctioned sport at Brandon Valley High School next season, BASA is willing to foot the bill for annual maintenance costs associated with use of the fields at the city-owned McHardy Park Soccer Complex, which the soccer group has contributed significant funding to its development.

BASA Board rep Barb Sperlich said the group has invested approximately $160,000 in the facility over the last few years.
BASA, which has organized the high school club programs for both boys and girls under the South Dakota State Soccer Association, has asked the Brandon Valley Board of Education to sanction the sport starting with the 2014 season, and will make a one-time donation of $35,000 to the school district to make it a school sanctioned sport next year. The BVSD Board was expected to approve the sanction request at their Nov. 12 meeting.

BASA’s request to sanction soccer as a high school sport next year stems from the SDSSA ending its sponsorship of club soccer activities after the 2014 season.

Last month, Randy Marso, Brandon Valley athletic director, said the district is getting close to being in a position to add the sport without eliminating other programs.

“With the club state tournament next fall being the last one, I see a vast majority of the school soccer programs being sanctioned by 2015,” Marso said. “Right now you have more schools in the club tournament than the SDHSAA tournament, but that won’t be the case in 2015. We’ll have better opportunities for competition by sanctioning at that time. My recommendation will be go with it if we have the funding, and I think we well.”

Sperlich said the organization will supply $35,000 to fund the program next year to convert it from a club team to a school-supported program. That will allow the varsity teams to compete at state tournaments sponsored by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. BASA is also turning over its home and away uniforms and equipment to BVSD.

Currently, BVSD pays the city $5,000 annually for use of the softball fields for its high school program, which is a sanctioned sport. Under the soccer agreement, BASA is being asked to pay facility maintenance costs to the city for 10 years.

“What I’m seeing here is the realization of a dream, so we need to come to some sort of an agreement so this happens,” said Alderman Blaine Jones.





The Brandon Valley Hockey Association has proposed to build a warming house next to the hockey rink at McHardy Park, while the Brandon Area Soccer Association will pay yearly maintenance costs to the City of Brandon as the high school programs transition from club teams to a sanctioned school sport starting next year. Challenger file photo



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