LINDSBORG – In the midst of the cancellations, postponements and quarantine resulting from the unforeseen COVID-19, a demonstration of commitment, community resolve and partnership has been forging in the background. As of May 11, the Board of USD 400 approved a gift for the costs to replace the synthetic turf at the Clyde and Glenn Lindstrom Field, and also toward the costs of the track, both at Anderson Stadium on Bethany College campus. Bethany College and Smoky Valley schools have shared these facilities for more than thirty years pursuant to use agreements. The various recreational teams organized through the City of Lindsborg also enjoy the track and field.
Dr. Elizabeth Mauch, Interim President of Bethany College notes that while COVID-19 has created challenging times, “community partners such as USD 400 have demonstrated a true commitment to the future of Bethany and the entire Lindsborg community with their investment in the turf and track.”
Bethany and USD 400 have been in discussion about the turf and track replacement for a few years now, as it was known the surfaces were close to exceeding their recommended lifespan. When COVID hit, the college administration took some time to carefully reevaluate the project. However, a commitment to the safety of all athletes combined with the fortune of special funds provided the opportunity to move the project forward. According to USD 400 Superintendent, Glen Suppes, “the district’s Capital Outlay funds allow for capital physical improvements but cannot be utilized for daily operational expenditures. We are grateful to have a wonderful working relationship with Bethany College, and the opportunity to spend our budgeted Capital dollars on the new turf in an effort to assist our students as well as our college athletes. Although general fund dollars may be limited later this fall and programs or positions may be greatly affected because of the effects of COVID-19, capital improvements will continue to move forward. Replacing the unsafe turf and track is an anticipated expense that must be addressed.”
“Facilities are such an integral part of athletics in not just the collegiate setting, but in all levels of sport. The safety of all student-athletes is our top priority, and we are very thankful for the strong working relationship and partnership with USD 400 that is allowing for the necessary capital improvements. In addition to ensuring a safe playing surface, these improvements will also play a pivotal part in both recruiting and retention for many of our programs. The partnership between Bethany, USD 400, and the City of Lindsborg truly demonstrates a commitment to the tradition of excellence and future of sport for the Swedes, Vikings, and the Smoky Valley,” commented Laura Moreno, Dean of Athletics at Bethany College.
While COVID requires communities and businesses to be prudent in spending, moving forward with community investment is equally important. “In this difficult time in many communities throughout our state, Lindsborg continues to look for ways to keep things moving forward,” stated Lindsborg Mayor, Becky Anderson. Mayor Anderson further commented, “the cooperation between USD 400 and Bethany College is another shining example of working together. The leadership of both institutions searched for a way to provide a much needed improvement to athletic facilities at Bethany College.”
The turf replacement will start in the next few weeks and the track will be replaced in the fall. Both USD 400 and the Smoky Valley School District look forward to a shared use of the facilities for years to come and Mayor Anderson thanks both for “continuing this legacy of community cooperation.” To borrow from the City of Lindsborg CVB, who is currently showcasing Lindsborg’s collective unique small-town offerings as “Lindsborg Lemonade,” this is a true case of making lemons into lemonade.