HANCOCK - When Hancock Public Schools arranged with Finlandia University in 2009 to trade school property in exchange for tuition remission for Hancock Central High School students, they were looking 12 years into the future.
John Sanregret, Hancock Central High School principal and athletic director, said the arrangement between the school district and Finlandia included the former middle school and what was then Condon Field, now McAfee Field. Football games are still played at McAfee Field, but the intention is to eventually have all football games played at the field next to the middle and high school on Campus Drive.
Sanregret said the bond for the new middle school included the field, track and scoreboard. A fieldhouse, bleachers and concession stand/press box are still needed, and to help fund those projects, the district is for the second year selling school calendars, which offer the buyer the chance to participate in raffles for cash prizes during the school year.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Hancock Central High School principal and athletic director John Sanregret holds one of the school calendars the district is selling as part of a capital campaign to raise funds for its athletic program. The calendars can be purchased at the high school or online at hancockpublicschools.org/donate.php.
Although McAfee Field is a relatively short distance away from the schools, Sanregret said it would be better if the football players didn't have to travel for home games.
"In an ideal world, you want your football field next to your school," he said.
The Bulldog Athletic Capital Campaign includes the sale of the calendars for $20 each. There are tear-off tickets on the back of each calendar where the buyer's name and phone number are written. There are three raffle drawings each week for $20 each, and on each saturday, there is a drawing for a $40 prize. Also, during the year there are drawings for larger prizes. On Feb. 9, there is a drawing for a $500 prize, and on Memorial Day there is a drawing for $200.
Sanregret said raffle participants can win more than once because after a ticket is drawn, it goes back into the ticket container for another drawing.
The printing of the calendars is funded by 40 local business sponsors, Sanregret said. Projects at the schools' field will begin as money accumulates.
"We hope to make small improvements," he said.
The first phase was the football surface, track and scoreboard. Phase 2 will be the press box and concession stand, phase 3 will be bleachers and phase 4 will be the fieldhouse. The field will have to be lighted, also, for Friday night football games.
Sanregret said the arrangement between the district and Finlandia has been good for both. The Hancock Award, which gives qualifying Hancock Central High School graduates tuition remission, has been well-received. The original plan was for the class of 2020 to get just one year of tuition remission, but that has been expanded to give them the full four years the preceding cohorts received.
"We have a tremendous partnership with Finlandia," Sanregret said.
The 2013 calendars can be purchased at the high school or online at hancockpublicschools.org/donate.php.
Sanregret said the calendars seem to be popular with alumni, some of whom live in other states. People who don't want the calendar can donate to the capital campaign online, also.
"People enjoy participating in this kind of worthy cause," he said. "It will ensure our athletes will continue to experience the same enjoyment as former students had."