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Stadium work may disrupt graduation

The Farmington High School lacrosse teams might not get much home field advantage in section play this spring, even if they earn it with their performance during the regular season.

The Farmington School Board approved a construction timeline Monday that would shut down Tiger Stadium at the end of May. That would also mean the district could not hold graduation at the stadium in June.

Construction work is needed at the stadium to repair retaining walls on the north, east and west sides of the field and fix concrete in the east and west plaza areas. Houska said Monday the project, which involves removing the existing retaining wall, replacing unsuitable soil and installing a new storm sewer, is big enough that it would be difficult to get it done between graduation and the start of fall sports. The entire project is expected to take 13 weeks, but a rainy summer could create delays as it did for the reconstruction of 195th Street last summer.

Starting the project early affects lacrosse and graduation, but starting later risks disrupting a larger number of games in the fall, including possibly wiping out nearly the entire home soccer schedule and two or more varsity football games.

“It could potentially be your whole fall season,” Houska said. “You don’t have a fall football game.”

Board member Steve Corraro raised concerns about disrupting graduation — he called last year’s outdoor ceremony the highlight of his time on the board — but other board members pointed out that last year was the first time in several years weather had allowed the district to hold graduation outdoors.

The board voted 5-1 to set May 23 as the start date for the project. Corraro was the only board member to vote against it.

New contract for custodians

Board members also voted Monday to approve a new contract for the district’s custodians. The new deal increases salary and compensation by 3 percent over its two-year length, a cost of about $87,000 total for the district.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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