Carver Trust gives Muscatine Schools $1 million for field

A concept drawing of Muscatine Community Stadium upon completion of all renovations.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Muscatine Community School District’s ongoing plans to improve Muscatine Community Stadium took a big step forward after the district received a $1 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust. Announced late in 2019, upgrades began this summer with the creation of a new entryway and concessions stand complex, which also doubles as a storm shelter. The Carver Trust’s grant will allow the district to move on to the second stage of the project, installing field turf on the football field.

Muscatine High School Athletic Director Tom Ulses felt grateful to the Carver Trust for making the next step of the project possible. “We are extremely appreciative of the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for this gift,” he stated.

Ulses shared that the District plans to begin installing the turf in late May of 2021 as the track and field season draws to a close. Along with this work, the District plans to replace Muscatine Community Stadium’s bleachers, press box, track surface and long jumping pits, and fencing a the same time and have budgeted for these expenses. Ulses anticipates work wrapping up before the start of the football and marching band seasons in fall of 2021.

As Ulses prepares for these renovations, he anticipates them benefiting both student athletes and spectators. The new field turf and track surfaces will offer more safety and durability than the existing ones, giving a better player experience for not only the high school athletes who use them but also the youth football teams who practice there. Field turf’s weather resistant qualities will also make it more suitable for the band competitions Muscatine Community Stadium hosts each fall. “We know the field will hold up, even when it rains,” emphasized Ulses. Additionally, the new bleachers will provide better seating for fans as they come out to enjoy games.

Because the Carver Trust grant takes care of a major expense in the renovation process, it will also help focus fundraising efforts on the final step of the process, replacing the current score board with a video board. Ulses estimates this last investment will cost between $150,000 and $200,000, which the District will pay for through community fundraising efforts. Though the cost may seem high, Ulses believes the Carver Trust grant will instill confidence in donors, as it shows commitment to completing this project. “It can really be a catalyst to our final fundraising because it shows community investment and that the project will get done,” he said.