Newton schools no longer shares responsibility of Eversman Field with the city

Apr. 27—By the beginning of July, the Newton Community School District will no longer share responsibility of Eversman Field at Woodland Park for baseball events.

School board members on April 24 approved a 28E agreement with the City of Newton for the shared use of certain facilities. As part of the agreement, the district agrees to let the city have sole control over the field since a new baseball diamond is being constructed across the street from the softball complex in town.

According to the agreement, the school district in the past has used Eversman Field at Woodland Park for baseball practices, games and tournaments, along with the tennis courts at various city parks for tennis matches and tournaments. In return, the district has helped with the maintenance of these facilities.

The city has also been allowed to extend a biking and hiking trail through school district property — locally known as the Children's Forest — beside Maytag Park.

With the school district currently constructing a new baseball field near H.A. Lynn Stadium, the 28E agreement with City of Newton was amended to reflect the control, maintenance, scheduling and use of Eversman Field shall be entirely the responsibility of the city by July 1, 2023.

However, the school district will still use a number of city-owned facilities for athletic events, such as: the tennis courts for tennis matches; Westwood Golf Course for golf practices, meets and conferences; Maytag Pool for the swim teams; and Maytag Park for a cross-country meet.

Newton Superintendent Tom Messinger said the new baseball field will not be completed in time for the 2023 baseball season.

However, there could be a few games at the latter part of the season that would be played on the new diamond, which cost the district about $3 million.

A portion of the agreement also says the school district will pay half of the costs of resurfacing tennis courts, and there is a section for the homecoming parade.

The school district vows to complete the city's special event permit application for the parade and have it on file by Sept. 1 of each year. If the special event application is received prior to the end of the school year — by no later than May 31 of each year — the city will contribute to the barricade expense for the event.

Now that the school board has approved the 28E agreement, Newton Community Services Director Brian Laube said it will also be presented to the city council in the May 1 agenda. Administrators noted the agreement is not a year-to-year contract, but rather is in place for good until it is terminated or changed.