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Hatchet Hollow Renovation

 hatchet hollow drone photo 6-2023

Hatchet Hollow Rededication

Hatchet Hollow Dedicated to our Community

Washington Community Schools extends our gratitude to the contractors, generous individuals, and volunteers who have played an invaluable role in making our dream of renovating Hatchet Hollow a reality.

Thanks to your collective efforts, our students across the district will have a facility to thrive in, and our fans will have a place to come together and create lasting memories.

Memering Farms, Armes Grain & Livestock, Tom Boyd & Family, Farmers Storage Supply, and Indiana Municipal Power Agency. Taber Owens - Jeff Owens & Joe Bean, Don Gress Construction - Donnie Gress & Isaac Stoll, Buchanan Mechanical - Dave Buchanan and Chris Wickman, Davis Electric - Tim Davis & Hannah Cresgy, TowerPinkster Architects - Hal Kovert,

Sodexo - Travis Edwards & Clay Heymann, Jones & Sons, Sisson Steel, Landmark Surveying, Hardrock Concrete, Knepp Builders, Drew’s Concrete Pumping, Marner Concrete Pumping, Leslie Coatings, RTC, Leslie Coatings, RTC, City of Washington - Mayor Dave Rhoadsm, Washington Police Department, Washington Street Department, Washington Electric Department, Washington Fire Department, Washington Parks Department, Washington Country Club, Indiana Army National Guard - Washington, Memering Farms, Armes Grain & Livestock, The Tom Boyd, Family - Farmer's Storage, Graber Crane, Rex Gress Construction, K & W Fencing, Sta-Dry Waterproofing, PR Bean, B & E Painting, DC Metal, SprintTurf, Musco Lighting, Dant Clayton, Hampton’s Concrete, Hoosier Ready-Mix, and Oliver Masonry.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Washington Community Schools would like to thank the following businesses and community members for donations of their time, labor, and equipment to the Hatchet Hollow renovation. We could not do it without you!

A huge thank you to Memering Farms, Don Gress Construction, Armes Grain & Livestock, Tom Boyd & Family, Indiana Municipal Power Agency, and Farmers Storage Supply.

Hatchet Hollow rendering ticket booth
hatchet hollow rendering track events
Hatchet Hollow rendering end zone

Moving Forward

At the December 15, 2022 meeting, the board voted to move forward with plans to renovate Hatchet Hollow: 

  • Synthetic Turf Football Field
  • 8-Lane All Weather Rubberized Track
  • New LED Sports Lighting
  • New Home Bleachers for 1,380 persons
  • New Press box
  • New Concessions and Restroom Building
  • New Home Football Locker Building
  • New Paved Access Drive from Band Practice Area to Football Field
  • Replace Existing Storage Building with New Field Equipment Storage Building
  • New Hatchet Hollow Entrance with Ticket Booth

Hatchet Hollow History:

Hatchet Hollow has served the school district since 1938.  The field was built through a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, a federal program led by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help lift the country out of the Great Depression.  Over the years, changes to and around the field have occurred like the addition of North Elementary School (now Washington Upper Elementary) and other structures like the current visitors locker room, which is now 40 years old, and the current building for the home locker room.  Originally, locker rooms existed under the main stands.   However, weather and time has made this space unusable.  

blueprint of Hatchet Hollow from 1938

Original 1938 Blueprint 

Hatchet Hollow crowd

Why Renovate Now?

The current facility is in need of upgrades including the field, bleachers, public restrooms, locker room space, and storage to house supplies for activities.  Part of the 2019 referendum building project included the construction of a new multi-purpose field.  However, the 2019 referendum building project did not pass and community feedback included not supporting a referendum for a new building that included a field complex.  

The opportunity now exists through the issuance of GO bonds to renovate Hatchet Hollow without increasing current tax rates on debt service, which results in a ZERO tax increase for homeowners and taxpayers. Washington Community Schools currently has one of the lower overall tax rates in the southwest Indiana region.  This project can provide the current students and school community a multi-purpose facility that can be used more frequently by more student groups in a fiscally responsible manner.  

Finally, the timing is right now as Washington Community Schools has leveraged pandemic relief funds (ESSER) the past two years for both educational purposes and maintenance to the school buildings.    

Who would benefit from a multi-purpose artificial turf field?

Investing in an artificial turf field would benefit many student groups in Washington Community Schools.  Currently, restrictions on field use exist to maintain the field for as many football games as possible (through drought, heat, and other issues that occur with maintaining a natural grass field).  The durability of artificial turf fields allow them to serve a variety of groups throughout the school year.  


Frequently Asked Questions

Why not use these funds to build a new field on the 100 acre property the school district owns? 

With no infrastructure (utilities, entrance/exit into property from surrounding roads, parking lots, etc.) on the current site, building a field without a school building is not feasible. 

How long does an artificial turf field last? 

Schools that have constructed similar fields in the last 25 years are seeing their turf last 15-20 years before an update must be made to the surface,  similar to how carpet must be replaced over time.  

What is the timeline for the renovation work to be completed?

On October 20, 2022, the Washington Community School school board passed the necessary resolutions for the sale of GO bonds and the specifications of the project.  An architect has been hired and is working on the plans and design of the renovation work.  Final design plans could potentially be approved at the November 17 school board meeting.  Work on the field would begin in the late winter/early spring of 2023 and the target date for completion would be by the start of the 2023-2024 school year.  

Why would you include striping the field for soccer when we have the Gwaltney Sports Complex soccer fields for our soccer teams?

The varsity soccer field at the Gwaltney Sports Complex will continue to be the primary home field for both the boys' and girls' soccer programs.  The Gwaltney Sports Complex varsity soccer field is recognized as one of the best high school soccer fields in the region as it regularly hosts IHSAA sectional and regional soccer matches (like it did this year in 2022).  Striping an articificial turf field for soccer does provide an asset for soccer for the following reasons:

  • An advantage of artificial turf fields is how well and quickly they drain and dry out after rain.  An artificial turf field with soccer striping at Hatchet Hollow would allow teams to practice or play games at the location if the Gwaltney field is too wet to play on.
  • Washington Community Schools has a long history of hosting IHSAA soccer sectional and regional events.  These events bring hundreds of people to town on days of tournament games.  The IHSAA only assigns soccer semi-state games to those sites with an artificial turf field.  Striping the renovated Hatchet Hollow with soccer lines would provide the school district with a field that could be considered to host semi-state events.