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Council, Oasis school board, to discuss use of planned athletic complex

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Feb 29, 2024

Cape Coral City Council will hold a joint conversation with the Oasis Charter School board to discuss use of the planned Oasis Multi-Purpose Athletic Field.

A majority of Council agreed the complex will be a public facility not solely dedicated for school use.

Councilmember Richard Carr said the interaction with the board of the city’s charter school system to have their input is extremely important.

“I like the idea of having everyone in the room — an informal, less formal, round table discussion with their board and us would be beneficial to us,” he said. “Their input and their participation is critically important to the success and buy in. I would like to have that open dialogue before we finalize any plans for this complex.”

The facility was discussed during Wednesday’s Council workshop. The presentation stated that the design elements could include football, soccer, and lacrosse fields, running track, bleachers, locker rooms, pavilions, concession facility and restrooms.

This complex, although utilized by the charter schools, would be open to the public.

City Manager Michael Ilczyszyn said he views the school as part of Cape Coral.

“The question I have is, do we want their board to provide input, or just you,” he said. “They are us; they are part of the city. We view them just like we do parks, fire department when building a fire asset. How do you want us to incorporate their governing board as input before you all make a plan.”

Mayor John Gunter said the board recommendation is important.

He said because of previous discussion as a Council, he sold the complex as a public facility.

“What I don’t want to do is put the emphasis on the school. We have this as a public facility,” he said.

Gunter also suggested talking to potential youth organizations that might use the field to get their input as well.

A big concern for Councilmember Tom Hayden was communication.

“It’s a priority to have conversation now,” he said. “I have no problem having some kind of joint meeting. I would hate to see this turn into some kind of rights battle. I just believe this school is probably thinking of this facility a little bit differently. We need to get that cleared and clarified as we move forward with this.”

Oasis Charter Schools is a four-school municipal school system offering education for students from kindergarten through high school.