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MEEKER I The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board of directors awarded a $350,000 grant to Meeker High School’s track/football field renovation project during a June 18 meeting.
GOCO’s support will facilitate the endeavor—a partnership between the Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District (ERBM) and the Meeker School District. It validates ERBM’s $400,000 pledge to the project.
This substantial commitment was a critical component of the grant application, but contingent on receiving the grant. These monies, local and alumni donations totaling $54,000 raised by the Meeker Education Foundation, and a $15,000 in-kind contribution from the project’s engineers, SGM, Inc., will provide the necessary funding.
Replacing the disintegrating track and redoing the football field ensures the safety of the facility’s many users. Taxpayers use the track and field for personal exercise and governmental agencies hold training and endurance exercises on site.
Student safety has been the most compelling reason for the project, and now Meeker athletes will have a safe place to practice and compete. A safe track means track meets can once again be held at home.
The Colorado High School Activities Association has scheduled a 2017 Regional Meet in Meeker in hopes the project would go forward. All meets will positively impact Meeker’s economy.
Additionally, the renovation offers new opportunities for the community.
ERBM’s Master Plan, adopted in 2012, was the result of a community survey and calls for significant program expansion for all ages involving the track and football field when the facility is upgraded.
The Meeker School District’s liability concerns have grown annually due to the progressive crumbling of its track. Without this project, the schools’ track and field program would be in jeopardy and future use of the stadium would be minimized.
GOCO’s generosity guarantees Starbuck Stadium will continue to be a community gathering place for athletes and spectators.
The benefits of this project will be felt by the Meeker School District, ERBM and the greater Meeker community.
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance the state’s parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open spaces.
GOCO’s independent board awards competitive grants to local governments and land trusts, and makes investments through the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Created by voters in 1992, GOCO has funded more than 3,500 projects in all 64 counties without any tax-dollar support.
The grants are funded by GOCO’s share of Colorado Lottery revenues, which are divided between GOCO, CPW, the Conservation Trust Fund and school construction.