DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines community members have started a petition following the school board’s unanimous vote to build a new shared stadium for the high schools.
On Tuesday, the Des Moines School Board approved the $15 million project to build a football and soccer stadium with Drake University.
Des Moines resident Dan Pardock was not happy with the decision and created a Facebook Group to start a petition.
“That presents them with two opportunities. One is that they can choose to forget the whole deal and completely stop the proposal altogether. The other idea is that they then hold a general vote and put it up to the public to decide if that $15 million in SAVE funds could be used for this project,” Pardock said.
As of Friday, around 500 people have signed the petition. Pardock said the petition needs around 5,300 signatures but the goal is to get 10,000.
“This isn’t a Hoover effort. It’s not a Lincoln effort. It’s not an East, North or Roosevelt effort. It’s a city effort and it’s just amazing to see people from all corners of the city come together,” Pardock said.
Des Moines resident and Hoover graduate Julia Morrissey said there are still a lot of unanswered questions with the proposed stadium.
“How are our kids going to get to the shared stadium? How are our bands going to get there? How are we going to get our players there? I think that there are a lot of questions yet to be answered so people feel confident and good about it,” Morrissey said.
DMPS held multiple public forums with Drake University in 2019 and early 2020 before taking its plans to the school board.
Des Moines School Board said in a statement, “The Board welcomes the community’s input on any issue surrounding our schools. We have heard from community members on both sides of this issue. The Board made what we feel is the best decision at this time based on all the information we have.”
Pardock said since all the signatures need to be in-person, the community has decided to host multiple drive-thru events.
“The greatest thing about it has been when we are talking on the Facebook page with people that are passionate about this. They’re chiming in and saying I will go anywhere to sign this thing,” Pardock said.
There are two drive-thru events Saturday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at the following locations:
- Rails Football Club – 2301 SW 30th Street
- Northwest Pool – 4915 Madison (in the parking lot near the softball field)
The petition needs to be turned in by the end of the day on June 2.