mpls: De La Salle field

I'm not sure how I feel about the Park Board/Nicollet Island dispute, reported here in the Downtown Journal.

The Park Board voted March 1 to approve the high school’s concept plan for the new athletic field and a reciprocal-use agreement with the school.

Before construction can begin however, the high school must get approval from city officials and the Metropolitan Council.

While [field opponent Annie] Young said the Park Board has taken significant steps to improve its agreement with the high school, several issues remain troublesome, such as the field’s potential environmental impact on the river and the legal implications of moving forward.

On the one hand, if this athletic field brings people to the island, and opens the place up for more of the city to use, it's probably a good thing. There's no reason why the Mpls Park Board should be mantaining tennis courts on Nicollet Island if nobody's using them.

On the other hand, if people actually use the tennis court park as it currently sits, I'm against giving away precious park land for a private (and religious) high school. Don't get me started on sports stadium subsidies . . .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People do use the tennis courts, in spite of the park board never having posted the usual signs making it clear they are public courts, or listing the courts on its website. The park board built the courts for DeLaSalle's use in 1999, as part of a 1996 master plan for the island, and to fulfill the earlier 1983 Agreement between the city and the park board. An agreement at the time of the courts' construction said the public would have access to DeLaSalle's gym and parking lots, two items which the school is trying to trade on again now in its 70-year agreement with the park board to build a football stadium on public parkland and over a public street.