Lewiston High School continues working toward athletic facility goal

Apr. 28—As construction continues on the new athletic facility at Lewiston High School, fundraising is also ongoing to finish the project.

Groundbreaking took place in October for the first stage of construction, which is the football, track and field, and soccer stadium as well as a practice football field. Potlatch No. 1 Financial Credit Union provided more than half of the $10 million cost for the stadium and also was given naming rights.

Superintendent Lance Hansen said the next stage of construction is additional football and soccer practice fields along with building softball and baseball fields when more funding is available.

"We want to do it as quickly as we can," Hansen said. "Mainly because the cost of construction continues to climb."

Dean Roy, who is part of the fundraising team, said the committee is 85% of the way finished and is now looking for the last 15% of its fundraising goal.

To help with those efforts, an open house event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon May 11 next to the gym where the venue is being built. The event will be a walk-through of the facility, artist renderings will be available, people can ask questions and there will be information on how to donate. Roy said continued awareness will help get the facility finished.

Roy directed people who want to donate to go to the website and complete the form at

There are different levels of donations including purple level at $2,500-$4,999; gold level $5,000-$9,999; Bengal level $10,000-$24,999; varsity level $25,000-$49,999 and champion level $50,000 or more. Once the facility is built, there will be a donation wall with people's names.

There is also a Facebook page called LHS Sports Complex Phase 2 that has information, photos of rendering and videos.

In addition to the website and open house, Roy said the group is meeting with people face-to-face to get donations. They also want to set up a way for people to donate a smaller amount. Roy said the fundraising group recognizes not everyone can write a check for a thousand dollars.

"A couple hundred dollars is still money going into the pot," Roy said. "It still gives people ownership."

Hansen said that with the capital campaign, some Lewiston residents have gotten the mistaken idea that the district is asking for more tax funds in addition to the bond that was passed in 2017 to fund construction of the new high school. That is not the case.

In 2016, when the Lewiston School Board was considering the bond, it passed a resolution for the school district to build new athletic venues without using bond dollars. The decision also made the bond less money and allowed the district to focus on using the bond for academic purposes.

"No funds that were received from the bond levy went toward athletics," Hansen said.

The athletic venues are funded through different sources that include the sale of assets. Hansen gave the example of the sale of part of the old high school campus to the Boys and Girls Club and other facilities the district has sold.

The district also used funds from the permanent levy that was passed in 1988, so it's not a new tax. That levy supports construction and maintenance for the school.

Another source is the plant reserve fund, which is used to fund higher cost items that are needed in the district. Hansen said if the old Lewiston High School had a boiler failure, which would cost a lot of money to repair, the plant reserve fund would cover it. But now the old high school doesn't need as much money, so those funds were reallocated to go to the athletic facility.

Maintenance staff can also be used to support the funding of the athletic facility by using staff to complete some of the construction, such as the concession stand.

The funding source the district is focusing on now is a capital campaign to raise money for the project. It's not a new tax, levy or bond, but a committee that is asking individuals and businesses for contributions.

"We're just raising money," Roy said.

Roy said that in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley when the Boys and Girls Club, Jackson Baldwin Foundation or even a specific child is in need, the community helps out.

"People always come together and they do what's right for kids around here," Roy said. "We know this project is going to be the same."

Some of those donations come from LHS graduates, many of whom competed against schools like Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and ones in the Boise area. Those teams got "all the money and all the attention" and made Lewiston "feel like a sore thumb," Roy said. When the teams played in Lewiston, they were at Booth Hall or Bengal Field, which were good venues, but not the same as what schools had in Coeur d'Alene or Boise.

"Now we're stepping into that kind of arena by providing a state-of-the-art facility, whether it's education or athletics," Roy said. "It's an exciting opportunity for our children and one that's past due."

Roy has children in seventh and fifth grade who want to participate in school activities, and Roy is excited that they will be able to play on the high school campus. Giving to the next generation is another motivator for some of the donors who are past graduates. Roy said they want to provide an opportunity to the students they didn't have themselves.

Roy is also a high school basketball referee and has traveled many times to the Boise area for the last 25 years and has seen the facilities at the schools there.

"I just want our kids in Lewiston, Idaho, to have the same kind of facility," Roy said, and not just for athletics but also for academics. "It's what they deserve and it's what we need to provide. And I'm happy to be helping to make that happen."

With this new facility, Lewiston will join those other state-of-the-art facilities.

"We will be an envy across our state," Roy said.

Another benefit of the new venue will be that all of the events can take place in one spot right next to the high school.

"Everything, finally, in one spot on our campus," Roy said instead of multiple locations across Lewiston. "As it should be."

The singular location will make it easier for students, both those participating and those wanting to watch their friends and classmates compete. It will also be easier for parents and fans.

"It's a more tighter-knit feeling that connects community to a colocated space," Hansen said. "It just connects us."

Hansen said that parents who have children in different sports had to juggle the different events and venues, like track and baseball.

"Now you might be able to sit in one spot and then hop over to another field," Hansen said.

The future of the current facilities like Walker Field and Church Field hasn't been determined yet, Hansen said. Walker Field is used for soccer, Church Field is used for baseball and Vollmer Bowl is used for track, which are all owned by the district. The board is considering future options for the other athletic facilities it owns and will evaluate what to do with those — whether to keep them as an athletic venue, use them for different purposes or sell them and use the funds for the new athletic venue, Hansen said.

Hansen said the hope is to be able to play at least one football game in the new arena in the fall or a couple soccer matches. The stadium being ready for a game won't only benefit the football team and fans but other sports and activities that will use the field, like marching band and cheer. The cheer team is one of the top teams in the state and the new facility will give its athletes plenty of space to practice, Roy said.

Roy said that progress on the construction is already being made, with a retaining wall being built and, at the end of July, the turf is expected on the football field. Roy hopes people check in over the summer to see the progress.

"It's impressive," Roy said. "Things are moving along."

Brewster may be contacted at or at (208) 848-2297.

More online

The website for this project is at Also, video animation of what the facility will look like is available on the LHS Sports Complex Phase 2 Facebook page.