By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News
Those attending events during the 2018-19 school year at the Maple leaf Athletic Complex will receive a pleasant surprise.
No longer will they have to trudge through a soggy wet gravel parking lot to see athletic contests and meets, music events and other activities at the complex.
The City of Mt. Pleasant hopes to award bids in February for replacement of the gravel on the lot with a porous concrete surface. The $1 million project will be a cooperative effort between the city and school district. Each entity is contributing $250,000 toward the cost with the remaining $500,000 funded through a water quality grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
It is due to the grant that porous concrete must be used, City Administrator Brent Schleisman noted. The surface will enable water to pass through a sediment filtering system before draining into the storm sewer.
Schleisman said he is ?happy and excited about the project. I believe it is important to have a top-of-the-line facility when visitors come to our community.?
His thoughts were echoed by Mt. Pleasant Superintendent of Schools John Henriksen. ?The school district has wanted to get this done for a number of years. Anytime you drive or park out there, you see the need.?
Henriksen sees it as not a school district or city project, but a community one. ?It is really a community project because of all the various groups using it.?
The earliest work can begin is May 14, Schleisman said, and the job must be completed by mid-August. Baseball and softball fans will have a little farther to walk this summer as parking will be on adjacent side streets.
So, what happens if the money doesn?t stretch to cover paving of the entire lot? ?That?s up to the school district,? Schleisman said.
?We will have to decide,? agreed Henriksen. ?That?s the importance of getting the bids early.?
The superintendent said the district has budgeted $300,000 for the work. ?We want to see what we can get paved for that amount of money. If it isn?t enough, we will look at our capital improvements fund revenue to see what can be done. We want to get as much done as possible.?
There will be considerable paving done on Mt. Pleasant streets this summer, and Schleisman hopes the city and school district get lucky with one of the contractors already in the city, taking on the work. ?We hope to get a good bid because if a contractor already is working in the city, there would be less expense in doing the parking lot, too.?