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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin)

Franklin - A group of parents has raised nearly $850,000 for a massive renovation of Franklin High School's Saber Stadium, but they haven't yet reached their goal.

The $2.1 million Saber Stadium Project will include a new turf field, an eight-lane competition track, a video scoreboard and other improvements. The current field and track is insufficient for certain sporting competitions, said Dave Bartels, committee chairman for the project.

"Thenewfieldisn'tjustabout football," Bartels said. "It will benefit other sports, too, like soccer, lacrosse and track."

The Saber Stadium Project Committee comprises 16 parents and works independently of the Franklin School District. The group began its fundraising in August.

" (Fundraising) has had good momentum the last few months," Bartels said, "and we're going to keep pushing hard. Our goal is to do this solely through private donations."

The committee members believe the new field will benefit not just students, but the community as well.

"I have been to Franklin games hosted at new facilities in West Allis, Greendale, Oak Creek and Kenosha Indian Trails this year," said committee member David Frank. "The Franklin students deserve better. We need the entire city to rally around this project with their financial support. This is about more than sports, it's a part of attracting families and business to the community."

Although there are multiple ways to donate, the committee is promoting its "square yard sale," where donors can purchase a square yard of the field. "We think it's a unique idea, rather than just selling a brick," Bartels said.

The names of donors who have purchased a square yard will be placed on a recognition wall near the entrance to the stadium.

Bartels said he hopes to complete the first phase of the project - improvements to the field - by August.

"This is about more than sports, it's a part of attracting families and business to the community." David Frank Saber Stadium Project Committee member

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December 19, 2013
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