Union School Dist. opts to end Dysart athletic events - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Union School Dist. opts to end Dysart athletic events

LA PORTE CITY (KWWL) -- A long-standing tradition at the Union School District in La Porte City and Dysart is now going away.  Since the two communities formed a consolidated school district, one varsity athletic event for each sport has been played in Dysart every year.  But the school board's now decided to end that practice, upsetting many in the Dysart community.

For many years, the middle school stadium in Dysart has been home to both middle and high school football games, even after Dysart merged with La Porte City to become the Union School District.  But this year, the high school in La Porte opened a new $2.1 million football, track, and soccer stadium.  And the school board wants to maximize its use.  So it's decided that no high school athletic events will be held in Dysart.

"For football, we feel that since we only get four or five home games a year, we need to be playing them on this facility.  It's got more seating capacity.  It's got more restroom capacity.  It's a better facility to use.  And we spent the money on it, so we felt we needed to use it," said Bart Frush, Union school board president.

And while the school district says it didn't choose to stop the Dysart games solely for financial reasons, the move will save some money.  Hauling equipment from the high school in La Porte to the middle school in Dysart, and setting everything up, has meant extra time and costs over the years.  But the end of Dysart games has some in the small community upset about the decision's potential ripple effects.

"A lot of people come in, the people we play and what not.  Like Casey's and the Thirsty Bulldog and the businesses that have food and stuff, they make a lot of money off that, and it brings money into the town.  So I'm kind of sad to see that disappear and the good times we always had with it," said Hilary Wieck, a Union High alumna.

But the school district's not too concerned since all middle school athletic events will still be held in Dysart.  It's just hoping that those upset by the decision to do away with high school games there will give the new stadium in La Porte a chance, since it's a facility that will likely serve Union students for many years to come.

This coming fall will be the first full school year the new athletic stadium in La Porte City will be in use.  This year, the new field was still too wet to allow the first few football games to be played there.

Additional Note:

The Union School District says the move to end Dysart athletic events in no way signals an end to all ties with the Dysart community.  The elementary and middle schools will remain there.  In fact, millions of dollars were recently spent to upgrade and expand the elementary building in Dysart.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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