Lutzie Field a Reality!

 

June 26, 2015
Missy Koslowski, GHSA News

Cobb County School Board Approves Lutzie Field Dedication

Lassiter has worked very hard with the Cobb Community to muster support for an extremely good cause.  Hundreds of supporters have worked tirelessly to re-name Lassiter High School’s new field after Auburn football player and former Lassiter High School stand-out, Philip Lutzenkirchen.

This morning, GA News received news that the Cobb County School Board “unanimously” approved the project.

Special thanks go out to Bob Penter who lead the effort and the entire Lassiter Community!

As I believe you’ve all heard at this point, we received unanimous approval from the Cobb County School Board for Lutzie Field last night.  Afterwards, I spoke to each of the board members, and they were extremely complimentary of the way that we handled the process and situation. I want to thank each of you individually and the various groups that you represent for your support throughout this process.  You all were unwavering in your support and willingness to demonstrate it publicly.  While the end result looked easy, I’m convinced that the project would have died on the vine had we not aggressively pushed the project and the timeline. There are so many people to thank that it would be impossible to do so in a reasonable length note. The advice and support that I received throughout the process were invaluable.  However, I do want to especially thank Kyle Cooper of Property Masters.  Most of you know about the tremendous financial commitment that Kyle and Property Masters have made to the project.  He jumped on board early to make the project come alive.  When the project looked like it could die a couple of times in the past month, he was unwavering in his support.  He’s a huge friend of the Lassiter community, and I’m proud to be associated with him as a board member of the Lutzie 43 Foundation. With this process now behind us, we get to focus on the project itself and the longer term mission.  Please mark your calendars for the field dedication (including the 2nd annual “13 Can Make a Difference Food Drive”) on Friday, August 14 and for the inaugural Lutzie 43 Road Race (sponsored by FCA) on August 15.  There will be much more to come on both in the coming weeks. The work will begin on Monday, June 29th, exactly one year after Philip’s death.  God truly is working, so we should all smile.”

Lassiter working HARD to name NEW Field in fallen Athlete’s name

                   


Lutzie Field…We Need Your Help!

As many of you are aware, the Lutzie 43 Foundation has been working very closely with the Lassiter community over the past 11 months on a very special project, the resurfacing of Lassiter’s stadium field and naming of the playing surface (“Lutzie Field” at Frank Fillmann Stadium.) This project came into our hearts to serve as a tangible reminder to the Lassiter community of the mission of the Lutzie 43 Foundation, “Live like Lutz. Love like Lutz. Learn from Lutz.” Through the field project, we feel we can best emphasize the “Learn From Lutz” element of our mission. The new turf and its name “Lutzie Field” will serve as a constant reminder for Lassiter students and community members of the importance of developing and displaying good character, but also of the dangerous effects of poor decision-making.

 

Throughout this process, we have been humbled to receive overwhelming backing from the community for this project. There have been numerous supporters for the project, both financially and otherwise, and we would first and foremost like to recognize many of them:

  • Kyle Cooper, Property Masters—Signature Sponsor
  • Sporturf, LLC—Turf Partner
  • David Banks, Cobb County School Board
  • Chris Ragsdale, Superintendent, Cobb County School System
  • Chris Richie, Principal, Lassiter High School
  • Art O’Neill, Athletic Director, Lassiter High School
  • Lassiter Band Boosters Club
  • Lassiter Lacrosse Booster Club
  • Lassiter Ladies Lacrosse Booster Club
  • Lassiter Soccer Booster Club
  • Lassiter Touchdown Club
  • Lassiter Track Club
  • Junior Trojan Football
  • Trojan Youth Lacrosse

 

Additionally, we have received support from countless other individuals; this group includes significant private donors that wish to remain anonymous, other members of the Lassiter High School staff, and various members of senior leadership within the Cobb County School District (CCSD) construction, legal, and procurement groups. Each and every individual has played an instrumental role in helping bring this project forward. We have been humbled and touched by the outpouring of support from every corner of the Lassiter community and beyond.

 

From the very beginning, the objectives behind this project have been multiple and integrated:

  • Meet a tangible need in the community: The current surface has received very heavy wear over the past eight years and is in disrepair. The new turf will reduce the risk of injuries and improve the experience for the thousands of student-athletes that will use the field for years to come.
  • Provide a privately funded solution: We have been blessed to raise over $370,000 to cover the costs of this project through the generous contributions of private donors, sponsors and booster clubs. Additionally, we received very favorable pricing from our turf partner, Sporturf, to make this project financially sound.
  • Create a reminder to our community of the mission of the Lutzie 43 Foundationcharacter development and good decision making in the lives of young people and their influencers: This last point is the primary focus of the Lutzie Field project and the main goal we hope to achieve. The inspiration for the Lutzie 43 Foundation, Philip Lutzenkirchen, was a remarkable young man that gave of himself to others. However, it was through a series of poor decisions that led to his tragic death. Our hope is that kids will know and understand his living legacy, and most importantly, learn from his death. The renaming of the turf is a tangible and ongoing opportunity for kids to understand the importance of good decision-making.

 

We have been blessed to have this project come together to meet the aforementioned goals, and serve as an example within Cobb County about the benefits of a community coming together to create a positive and lasting legacy out of a tragedy.

 

Challenge with the Cobb County School Board Chairman

 

Over the past 11 months, we have gone to great lengths to bring this project to fruition. While the project is 100 percent privately financed, the size of the project requires it to meet certain bidding requirements and county construction reviews. Lastly, the project must receive an official vote from the school board. We have worked closely with the CCSD to ensure that all requirements are met in order to proceed with the project. In a nutshell, we were told by the CCSD that we needed to fulfill the following:

a) Appropriately bid the project

b) Secure all financing

c) Demonstrate community support.

 

At this time, we have completed all of the necessary steps for the project. We were placed on the agenda for the June 10, 2015 Cobb County School Board meeting to put the project to vote. At this meeting, we were hopeful to receive approval from the board and begin the project immediately thereafter. This would keep us on-schedule for the field dedication scheduled for August 14, 2015.

 

Late last week, we received word that Randy Scamihorn, Chairman of the School Board, removed the project from the agenda for the June 10 school board meeting for reasons unstated to us. In a previous meeting with Mr. Scamihorn, we reviewed the project and the timeline we needed for completion. We discussed the ramifications of eliminating the project from the June 10 meeting agenda.

 

We Need Your Help!

 

When we began this project, we only wanted to move forward if we had full backing within the Lassiter community. We have been truly humbled and blessed by the outpouring of support, both financially and otherwise.

 

However, we now need your help to positively demonstrate your support directly to the Cobb County School Board. If you are willing and able to help keep the Lutzie Field project on-schedule for August 2015 completion, we ask that you do the following:

 

a) Share your support publicly through social media. You can follow the Lutzie 43 Foundation on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on this process. We are using the hashtag #LutzieField to measure public support on social media. Help us get this trending!

b) Send e-mails to all the CCSD board members regarding your support for the project.

 

We want the e-mails to be positive and specific, and for you to be willing to sign your name. In communicating with the board, our main goal is to emphasize that project approval is time sensitive in order to complete the field re-surfacing by our August 14 dedication date. You can help address this by requesting the project be voted on as soon as possible, including through special session if necessary. It is important that any messaging regarding this manner positively reflect the mission and values of the Lutzie 43 Foundation.We ask that all emails and social media posts be respectful and demonstrate great character.

 

Below, we have provided the contacts of the Cobb County School Members:

 

Randy Scamihorn: rscamihorn.boardmember@cobbk12.org

Susan Thayer: sthayer.boardmember@cobbk12.org

David Morgan: dmorgan.boardmember@cobbk12.org

David Chastain: dchastain.boardmember@cobbk12.org

David Banks: dbanks.boardmember@cobbk12.org

Scott Sweeney: ssweeney.boardmember@cobbk12.org

Brad Wheeler: bwheeler.boardmember@cobbk12.org

 

We would also suggest you e-mail Chris Ragsdale, School Superintendent, atchris.ragsdale@cobbk12.org.

 

Thank you for all your support.

 

Sincerely,

 

Missy Koslowski

GA News Online

“A Proud Supporter of all that is Georgia High School Football”

mkoslowski@ganewsonline.com