Hobart School Board approves 'punting' Brickie Bowl stadium to city for recreational use

2013-07-25T22:00:00Z 2013-08-06T17:30:20Z Hobart School Board approves 'punting' Brickie Bowl stadium to city for recreational useDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The iconic Brickie Bowl stadium, now school-owned, soon could become city-owned following action taken by the School City of Hobart.

The School Board on Thursday approved a resolution authorizing the exchange of properties with the city of Hobart.

The proposed exchange, which still needs formal approval by city officials, would entail the city taking over ownership of the Brickie Bowl and an adjacent parking lot off East Fourth Street.

The school corporation, in exchange, would obtain the city-owned property behind Fire Station No. 1, adjacent to Joan Martin Elementary School on 10th Street.

The City Council, which next meets Aug. 7, is expected to pass a resolution approving the exchange of properties, School Board Attorney William Longer said.

The transfer for several months has been in the hands of attorneys representing both sides, School Board President Terry Butler said. 

"It's been a long time coming," School Board member Mike Rogers said.

School Superintendent Peggy Buffington said this is an exchange city and school officials have discussed for some time, going back to 2009 when the new high school was built off 10th Street.

Buffington, who referred to the Brickie Bowl as "treasured," said the former high school football field holds a lot of memories for residents.

"The Brickie Bowl still means a lot to the city. I'm excited for the community," Buffington said.

Once the transfer is made, there will still be plenty of work for city officials to complete, Special Events Coordinator Raeann Trakas said.

Trakas and her committee already have discussed ideas for activities and events to stage in the Brickie Bowl. Plans include holding sports events, concerts and fundraisers.

Structural improvements, including removing wooden bleachers, also are planned once the city obtains possession.

The School Board considered the possibility of renovating the Brickie Bowl and continuing to use it for football games when the new high school on 10th Street was built a few years ago, Butler said. However, safety and costs were factored into the decision to move most of the school's sports activities to the new high school.

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