Building L’Anse athletics, brick by brick
L’ANSE – L’Anse Area Schools has kicked off a fundraiser aimed at completing lighting for the football field at the district’s new athletic complex. The district is asking supporters to buy personally engraved bricks that will become part of a path from the school to the athletic complex, in the hope of raising $60,000 before the end of the school year.
“We have a strong support system with families, graduates and older alumni,” said Charmene Puska of the L’Anse construction and engineering firm Zebing Solutions, which is managing the fundraiser for the district. “We’re already getting responses, people are buying bricks from as far away as Indiana,” she added.
L’Anse Superintendent Carrie Meyer said work on the new athletic complex began three years ago. To date, the district has spent about $935,000, including in-kind donations of labor and supplies from the local community, on fields, a press box, underground infrastructure and other improvements. Half the investment came from a matching grant from the Department of Natural Resources.
“We’ve had a lot of support,” Meyer said. “We’re very pleased with how the community has worked together – this is not only a school facility, but something the whole community can enjoy. The running track, people will be walking on that. And any type of club sports, like baseball, will have the ability to use the fields.”
Puska said the football field lighting will use high-efficiency LED bulbs, and that all work will be done by local companies, often working at cost.
Meyer said she expects the Purple Hornets football team to be playing under those lights by next fall. Other next-phase athletic complex priorities that could see help from the fundraiser include baseball and softball fields.
“This will be our first spring for girls’ softball,” she noted.
The brick pathway, lighting and fields priorities are expected to use up the $60,000 the district is currently working toward, but Meyer said any excess from the brick sales, along with future fundraising, will go toward other needs, like bathrooms and a concession stand at the football field.
“Our community has a strong desire to have the project finished,” she said. “($60,000) is still not quite enough to finish what we’d like to see, so I’d like us to start thinking out of the box and generating more money.”
She noted that personalized bricks could be added to the pathway even after it’s constructed this spring.
“I think a project like this could go on for a long period of time,” she said.
Puska said the path would be prominent, giving visiting teams and guests plenty of opportunity to notice the tributes on the bricks. Her own family will be recognizing two of their own who are members of the L’Anse Schools family, a retired teacher and a current school bus driver.
“My father taught there for 26 years,” she said, “so we’ll be buying for one past and one current employee.”
Four by eight inch Golden Bricks are available for donations of $100 – $499, and a limited supply of 12 by 12 Platinum Bricks are available for donations of $500 or more. They will be laser inscribed, with a maximum of 18 characters per line and three lines per brick.
For more information and order forms visit lanseschools.org/news.php. You can also pick up forms at any school office, or call 524-6000.