Nike, Scheels sponsor new athletic fields in district

North hoping to raise enough money for new track


Photo by Alex Neumann

Grounds crew put the finishing touches on North’s new field. North is looking to raise enough money to also update the track.

Ally Price, Contributor

Over this past summer, Appleton North installed a new turf football field, as did Appleton East. The two schools installed the turf through the summer using money from both fundraising and a deal made with Nike and Scheels. Appleton West is scheduled to get a new field this upcoming summer if they can raise enough money. North and West are scheduled to eventually get more additions of new tracks, scoreboards, entryways, and press boxes.

A large sum of the money used by East to build their field is coming from a grant from Nike and Scheels.  Together, these two companies gave $369,000 to the Appleton Area School District so that it could be put toward redoing athletic facilities. This money was originally given to Appleton North and East, but more of it ended up going toward East; this is because East is in a more intricate deal with the two companies. In order for them to use the money, Appleton East had to include the Scheels logo on either end of their field. Also, within two or three years, they had to be wearing Nike uniforms in most, if not all, varsity sports. These requirements apply only to East, not to North or West, which explains why East got a majority of the money.

The money not donated by Nike and Scheels came purely from fundraising by the schools themselves.

“None of the money came from district funds, which means there was no taxpayer money involved in this past summer’s renovations,” Appleton North associate principal and activities director Mr. Herrling said. Original plans included new tracks for both of the schools as well as a turf field for West, but the schools didn’t end up fundraising enough for that at this point in time.

Each school’s plan is to keep fundraising, and if enough money is raised, West is scheduled to receive a new track next summer. In addition, the Appleton Area School District has a budget specifically for athletic facility renovations. Every five to eight years, the schools are given a chunk of the district’s budget to use for these athletic purchases. Because of this, everything that the schools didn’t get enough money for will be put on hold until they get the money from the district.

“Plans for future renovations include not only the new tracks, but a new scoreboard, two new press boxes on either side of the field, and a redone entryway, which includes the concession stand and bathrooms,” Mr. Herrling said.

Until the schools are given this money, they will just have the new fields as well as fixing anything that won’t make it until then. This mostly applies to the tracks at Appleton East and North, which have become run-down over the years. While both tracks need attention, North’s has a more pressing need over East’s, so until there is enough money available for them to be redone, the schools will pay for some temporary fixes, including filling in some holes.