The Bethel community turned out for the open house at the newly completed Track and Field Center at the school campus earlier this week. The 48,000 square foot, state of the art $10 million training facility was donated to the Town by a donor wishing to remain anonymous, and assigned to be managed by Coach Yvonne Grimes as part of a 5 year lease signed by Town officials on November 22nd of last year.
This isn’t the first time Coach Grimes has been involved with a significant donation to the Bethel Schools. In 2009 she made what was then the largest donation to the Schools, a $600,000 outdoor track with a new field house.
The facility can be accessed during specific times by the public, for a $25 annual fee for Bethel residents, and can also be rented for $600 an hour for certain approved events.
The Town entered into a five year lease with Coach Grimes, who is responsible for the operation of the facility and controls access to it under terms defined in the lease, specifically “Grimes shall be solely responsible for the scheduling of the use of the Center, including, but not limited to, the booking of the rental-of the Center by parties other than the Board. The Board and the Town may not schedule events in the Center without the approval of Grimes. Grimes shall comply with all local, state and federal laws regarding access to public facilities in scheduling the use of the Center. Track and field; cross country or other running programs operated by the Board for students in Bethel public schools shall have first priority usage of the Center. Thereafter, priority shall be as follows: (a) wrestling, ROTC, and cheerleading programs operated by the Board for students in Bethel Public schools; then (b) track and field, cross country or other running programs operated for residents of the Town of Bethel; then (c) any other program operated by the Board for students in Bethel Public schools; and then (d) any other athletic program on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis.”
The rental fee for the facility, part of the recently updated Board of Education policy, calls for $600 per hour plus additional costs for supervision, custodial and if deemed necessary, police coverage.