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For the First Time, Schools Charged to Use Legion Stadium

Courtesy City of Wilmington

This school year, New Hanover County public schools will have to pay to use Legion Stadium, Hardee Field and other City-owned athletic facilities. According to an updated contract between the City of Wilmington and the Schools, school taxes will contribute more than $90,000 in maintenance and janitorial fees this year. And for future years, this amount is adjustable based on the consumer price index.

Ever since the City replaced Legion Stadium’s grass with artificial turf two years ago, School Board chairman Don Hayes says the Board has been expecting facility usage costs. He says the turf allows the school district greater use of the fields, thanks to less damage and fewer weather cancelations.

"One of the things that was considered when the initial expense to install the artificial turf was discussed was that in the long run, we’re saving."

At Tuesday’s School Board meeting, the Board moving six to one to approve the new contract, with board member Lisa Estep voting nay. The agreement will be effective until June of 2022.