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School Foundation Didn't — And Couldn't — Ask District to Loan Money for Tiger Trail

School board members said they had approved the foundation's proposal for the Tiger Trail two years ago, and it was understood then that the project would be funded solely through foundation dollars

Members of the Cuyahoga Falls School Foundation will have to think of a Plan B after they found out they can't ask the school district for a loan to help fund the Tiger Trail

Foundation members had pondered whether they would go to the school board and ask the board to approve a $30,000 loan to pay for Phase 1 of the project, pathway of engraved bricks leading into Clifford Stadium to be known as the Tiger Trail.

It turns out, the foundation couldn't ask for the loan because, on Feb. 28, 2011, the school board approved the project with the stipulation that it's all paid for through foundation funds.

"That information was clear: The board has already approved the project in the extend that it will do the bidding and ... everything it would have to do," said Barb Gunter, school board vice president. "When the foundation came to us two years ago with this you were going to pay for the whole thing yourself anyway."

"I appreciate that you came here and you're withdrawing your offer, but I'd like for the whole truth and the whole story to come out — that you're withdrawing the offer because you've been notified that it's already a done deal. The board's already approved their part. If you have the money, you can proceed."

Foundation Vice President Curtis Clemons told the board at its meeting Monday night that the request for a loan would have been poorly timed.

"We've heard your concerns about partnering with us during a time when we're coming up with a permanent improvement levy," Clemons said. "We will ask to withdraw that proposal to you, and we will carry out the project on our own."

Clemons said the foundation plans to release more information soon about the details of the group's fundraising plan. One thing's for sure, he said, and that's that there will be no question that the project is using private money and no school dollars.

The foundation hopes to generate about $100,000 in scholarships through the Tiger Trail.

The engraved brick sales help fund the project, and so far, the foundation has raised $40,000 of the $150,000 project. Phase 1 would cost around $70,000.

Clemons said the foundation will continue fundraising and still plans to stay on track with the project. Construction would begin in summer 2013.

Adam C. Miller February 26, 2013 at 06:24 AM
Golf outing this year?
Terry February 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM
It sounds like the Foundation is POSITIVE there are NO plans for a new stadium in the near future ... like 5 to 10 years at minimum. I'm sorry I can't offer a better idea to raise funds for the scholarships but surely, there has to be one. Maybe selling engraved bricks as part of a new high school instead ?????
Don February 26, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Spending $70,000 to fund a walkway will do NOTHING to improve the performance of the high school sports teams! How much of that will buy the bricks and how much will actually go for scholarships? Perhaps the scholarships should be to recruit quality players to the HIGH SCHOOL? That seems to work for a few of the parochial schools in the area. In the interim, the Foundation would be better served if they did their homework with the leaders of the District and Community to see if their ideas fit in with the long term plans of the District. A brick walkway to nowhere is not my idea of money well spent. Perhaps the foundation would be better served if they actively recruited graduates and encouraged those that do sign up to continue their membership?
Jeff February 26, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Wow - So what about other school curriculum that gets cut due to budget? Which is more important, sports or arts? One of them actually reaches a lot more students. The other is good for less than a classroom full of students.
Mike Walker February 26, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Jeff, you are correct. The sports reach a very small amount of students when you look at the class sizes of both art and band/choir/chorus.
Earl Elevant February 27, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Since you're asking, sports are more important.
Adam C. Miller February 27, 2013 at 07:08 AM
Seems like a waste of money...
Adam C. Miller February 27, 2013 at 07:12 AM
Amazing isn't it...
Adam C. Miller February 27, 2013 at 07:14 AM
But this doesn't help either, it just builds a new walkway/entrance to the football stadium.

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