The Fields of Many Dreams project is no longer a dream.
The three Waukesha high schools have combined to raise the final amount of money needed to begin construction on the artificial multipurpose ProGrass turf fields.
After the Waukesha School Board approved a contract with SC Waukesha and the district, which will contribute half a million dollars through a property sales fund, at its March 12 meeting, the schools only needed to raise $232,700.
In addition to the district's contribution, SC Waukesha will pay an annual fee of $50,000 over 10 years with a $100,000 upfront payment. It will skip the second year but then pay $50,000 from the third year to the 10th year.
SC Waukesha is a local soccer club.
"The large monetary donation given by SC Waukesha made a huge impact on our fundraising efforts," said Glen Norder, the district's director of facilities. "With 85 percent of the fundraising goal already met, it now appeared to community members that this was attainable and individuals were more apt to donate."
The schools had a May 1 deadline to raise the final funds and Mary Jo King, communications coordinator for the district, said donations over the last month came in through advertising sales, memorial bricks and individual/business donations.
Construction will begin first at Waukesha South. The district is working on obtaining the necessary permits and hopes to break ground by May 16.
The three fields at the three Waukesha public high schools (North, South and West) cost about a combined $1.5 million.
Catholic Memorial High School and Carroll University will also get new turf fields as part of a joint partnership on the project.
The fields are expected to be completed by late August.
The process to install field turf within the district began almost four years and without public funding or a significant private donor, the project struggled to garner the necessary financial support.