Construction of a parking lot south of the Newton Community School District’s softball complex will also lead to improvements of the adjacent soccer fields along South 15th Avenue West, one of which will be partially removed to make room for the lot. Most of these fields are used by area youth leagues for practices.
In August, the head coaches from Newton High Cardinal girls’ and boys’ soccer teams, Abby Lamont and Zach Jensen, spoke to the NCSD Board of Education about the project and expressed their feelings toward the new addition of the parking lot, which is expected to have more than 100 spots.
Lamont and Jensen both agree the parking lot is a needed addition. However, Lamont said the school soccer team’s first practice grass field was taken away by the addition of the new softball complex completed nearly a year ago. She asked the board and school administrators if the project could be built in conjunction with some amenities for the school soccer teams.
“What happens when our fields keep getting taken is we keep getting pushed south, and so when we’re that far away we have no amenities out there. We have no bathrooms, no water. We carry all our supplies over there,” Lamont said less than a month ago. “Ultimately we would like more amenities.”
Like, for instance, better and more maintained grass to practice on, and possibly fencing to deter people from driving onto the fields. Lamont claimed the soccer teams use the grass fields three to four times a week with sometimes up to five teams practicing at once on the turf.
Jensen said, like Lamont, he is in support of the parking lot project, especially when he has experienced an overflow of traffic to the softball complex near H.A. Lynn Stadium countless times when the team returns home from an away game.
There are times when Jensen is afraid to have his players practice on the nearby soccer fields, noting there are deep holes which could cause injuries. NCSD Maintenance Supervisor Jack Suttek said everything Lamont and Jensen said was true, likening his own experiences of his kids playing on the soccer field.
“Soccer in Newton is very near and dear to me … Zach coaches my son and Abby coaches my daughter,” Suttek said, apologizing if he was not clear with the coaches about the project. “I’ve already communicated with somebody who is going to roll those fields for us. Believe me, I know they’re bad. I really do. They’re rough out there.”
Suttek added that crews will work to alleviate a lot of the ruts and will not allow anybody to drive onto the fields.
“I’m all for whatever we have to do to make it a nice practice facility for the Newton soccer players,” Suttek said.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org