On Wednesday, the Olympia School District will host the first of two public forums to collect ideas for future community access at Ingersoll Stadium.
“Ingersoll has increasingly been the target of vandalism and misuse, including bike and motorcycle damage, graffiti, overnight camping, broken bottles and used drug paraphernalia, which are compromising the safety of the stadium and putting the public’s investment at risk,” district spokeswoman Rebecca Japhet wrote in a media advisory.
This summer, crews are working on a $400,000 renovation at the 3,000-seat stadium that sits on the Olympia High School site but is shared with Capital High for football games, soccer matches and track meets. The facility is also used for youth soccer and football games and track meets, and it is a popular spot for joggers.
But when renovations are completed in August, the district is considering eliminating the 24-hour unrestricted access to the stadium, Japhet said.
“Olympia is the only district in the area that leaves its stadium unlocked when it is not in use by the district or approved groups,” she said. “North Thurston and Tumwater school districts both lock their stadiums when not in use by approved groups.”
Besides trying to protect the stadium from vandalism, the district wants to come up with an access plan that will allow it to comply with a recent city of Olympia Hearing Examiner’s decision regarding the stadium’s use, Japhet said.
Since the stadium is in a residential zone, its 2004 remodel was contingent on limited nonschool use, she said. Groups that have been approved to use the stadium include youth soccer groups, the YMCA, Thurston County Football and city parks, Japhet said.
In April, the hearing examiner “reaffirmed the user group limitations, with the understanding that the district would be examining options to limit 24-hour unrestricted access to the stadium,” she added.
If Ingersoll ends up getting locked down, community members might be able to apply for a swipe card to get into the stadium, officials said.
If you go
What: Forums to discuss options and gather ideas for future community access at Ingersoll Stadium.
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Aug. 19.
Where: Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way SE, Olympia.
More information: 360-596-6103.