As Badin proposes campus stadium, area schools tout upsides of new sports facilities

Badin High School is seeking a zone change for its property at 571 New London Road, and two properties on Jerdan Lane it recently acquired to assist with parking and bus access to the school. As part of the rezoning request, the school submitted future possible developments with the land, which includes an athletic complex that features more parking, a new stadium and a practice facility. The zoning change would help with the development of the school's land. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Badin High School is seeking a zone change for its property at 571 New London Road, and two properties on Jerdan Lane it recently acquired to assist with parking and bus access to the school. As part of the rezoning request, the school submitted future possible developments with the land, which includes an athletic complex that features more parking, a new stadium and a practice facility. The zoning change would help with the development of the school's land. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Adding a sports stadium and track to a Butler County high school may still be years off but other area high schools who have done the same tout the move as a positive transformation of their campuses.

Badin High School in Hamilton has launched the preliminary zoning change process to build the school’s first athletic stadium in its more than half-century history.

Last week saw the first steps toward zoning approval for the proposed 2,600 seat athletic complex was included in a school proposal to expand parking for its growing student enrollment.

ExploreFirst concept of Badin High School stadium plan approved

Hamilton Planning Commission has recommended on a rezoning request to change the residential zoning of Badin’s nearly 26-acre campus to a Business Planned Development zoning.

This change, if approved by Hamilton City Council, would allow the county’s only Catholic high school to expand its parking lot by 284 spots due to a growing student population and perhaps move closer to approving an adjacent athletic stadium.

City Council will consider the matter starting next month.

Monroe Schools took similar moves more than a decade ago in its city to build one of the area’s largest prep sports stadiums on its high school campus.

It’s a giant step for any school campus and its home community, said Eric Silverman, athletic director for Monroe Schools.

And depending on whether Badin officials want to open up the stadium to community athletic leagues, a new sports facility can also impact area youth and adult sports beyond the immediate provision of a games for a school’s student teams.

Field rentals can become a revenue source for the host school.

Moreover, schools can provide their students with an all-weather, synthetic turf field for its physical education classes.

“The Monroe High School Stadium is a focal point of not only our school but our entire community and is used in some capacity almost every day of the year,” said Silverman.

“During the school day our physical education classes are able to utilize the facility for curricular purposes. After school our student-athletes utilize the facility for interscholastic athletic practices and competitions and we’ve hosted a variety of post season events including OHSAA sectional, district and regional football and soccer tournament games at the stadium,” he said.

“When not in use by our school programs the facility is utilized for various community and recreational purposes. Additionally, the facility has been utilized for special events as well, such as the Monroe High School graduation ceremony,” said Silverman.

Talawanda High School is also one of the area districts to add a new, on-campus stadium in recent years and district officials also tout the benefits.

“We are very proud that we are able to offer a very comprehensive athletic program and that we have athletic fields, multi-sport complex, and a fieldhouse that supports all … our students,” said Holli Morrish, spokeswoman for Talawanda Schools.

“The amenities available in the fieldhouse are also used in our physical education curriculum for courses such as ‘fitness for life,’ so even students that may not play a sport have opportunities to enjoy the facilities,” Morrish said.

“We know that clubs, athletics, and other extracurriculars really enhance our student’s lives and also teach them skills that will be helpful to them in life,” she said.

Hamilton City Council scheduled a first reading and public hearing on the rezoning request, parking lot expansion plan, and athletic complex concept for May 25.

Staff Writer Michael D. Pitman contributed to this story.

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