650+ spots will flank the stadium, combined with the 750+ spaces currently available at the Memorial Highschool. This should be ample parking to accommodate the 3500 fans that the Athletic Complex will hold (for current home football games there are roughly 560 spaces between front street, south street and chestnut street parking lots). Additionally, the City of St. Marys has announced that it has received state approval and funding for a walkway to be built across U.S. 33 which will allow an alternative way for pedestrians to enter and exit the Highschool campus. This walkway project is expected to break ground in a few years.
The Roughrider Philanthropic Association has discussed this issue considerably with local law enforcement. Law enforcement has advised us that they believe that traffic can be smoothly and safely directed from Shipman Road onto State Route 66. School officials have offered creative solutions for creating a more staggered exit of the stadium through post game activities. An exact estimate for the time it will take to enter or leave the complex is hard to ascertain; however, at a recent event in which all of the current 750+ spaces were full, the parking lot was cleared by local law enforcement in 16 minutes. Additionally, the City of St. Marys has announced that it has received state approval and funding for a walkway to be built across U.S. 33 which will allow an alternative way for pedestrians to enter and exit the Highschool campus. This walkway project is expected to break ground in a few years. This pedestrian walkway alternative should alleviate some traffic concerns.
The Roughrider Athletic Complex is being funded with private donations and pledges. These donations and pledges are being solicited from private individuals and corporations.
The Roughrider Philanthropic Association is aware of a reported proposal between the City of St. Marys and the St. Marys City School System for the City to provide cash and lighting to be used towards the Roughrider Athletic Complex in exchange for land where the current football stadium is located. While the Roughrider Philanthropic Association is a private organization, we welcome the support and cooperation from the City of St. Marys and St. Marys City School System.
The Roughrider Philanthropic Association believes that private funding is a preferred method for fundraising and will not support any proposal for a public levy or similar ballot issue asking for contribution from public tax payers.
The Roughrider Philanthropic Association cannot speak for, does not represent the Board of Education, and does not know their exact personal factors which led to their decision on where to raise funds for a stadium. However, the Roughrider Philanthropic Association is aware that a feasibility study was completed by the Board of Education and it was determined that an overwhelming majority of those polled believed that private donations and pledges would offer far more support for an athletic complex located at the current Highschool site. The Roughrider Philanthropic Association supports the Board in their belief that private money will be better spent at the current Highschool site. The old site is only used 5-6 times a year, is not near the current high school, is in a flood zone, requires the team and band to be bussed to it, and requires separate maintenance. The new site is already being used for practices, track and field events, and has the ability to be used for so much more, including but not limited to playoff games, band invites, track invites, etc. Having one site to maintain rather than two is a smart fiscal decision. Simply put, it is a better, financially responsible decision and will benefit more students to invest in the future at the current Highschool site.