OLR Research Report

December 11, 2008




By: Judith Lohman, Chief Analyst

You asked if any state or private funds are available for constructing sports fields for a local board of education.

There does not appear to be any existing state grant program that would cover such construction as a stand-alone project. Special legislation would be required to provide state funding for such a purpose.

Construction of outdoor athletic fields for a local school board is eligible for the state's school construction grant program if it is (1) a minor part of a more comprehensive school construction project, such as a new school, and (2) there is an integral relationship between work on the athletic fields and the overall project. Under such circumstances, the law allows a school district to receive reimbursement for the construction costs at one-half the state reimbursement percentage assigned to the authorized project (CGS 10-286 (a)(3)). As a stand-alone project, such construction is ineligible for a state school construction grant (CGS 10-283 (a)(2)(C)).

Two other major state grant programs available for local capital projects are the Local Capital Improvement Program (LOCIP) and, depending on the size and type of town, either the Urban Action or Small Town Economic Assistance (STEAP) programs. However, school projects are ineligible for the LOCIP program (CGS 7-536 (4)(D)) and school athletic fields do not appear to fall into the categories of projects eligible for STEAP or Urban Action grants (CGS 4-66c and 4-66g).

School boards may be able to obtain private support for their athletic teams and facilities from business and corporate sponsors, national sports leagues and associations, parents, and local booster clubs. Examples of such local athletic support groups are the Friends of Glastonbury Sports, Inc. (http://www.friendsofgburysports.com/index.htm) and The Friends of Canton Football (http://www.focf.zoomshare.com/0.html).