Following a presentation on an appraisal for the 68th and Oak street property, Phoenix Rising representatives kicked a proposal toward Scottsdale Unified School District officials to strongly consider the organization’s bid for the vacant space.
Bringing youth soccer to the Tonalea community along with other benefits was discussed at a Nov. 30 board meeting as Phoenix Rising founding co-owner, Tim Riester described the interests for “Arizona’s highest-level professional soccer team,” to partner with the school district and lease the property longterm.
Riester returned before the board with two colleagues, Bobby Dulle, Phoenix Rising FC general manager, whose experience includes developing soccer facilities; and Tibor Pelle, key director for the youth organization and former UCLA assistant coach, who offers counseling for children to go to colleges.
While looking for partnerships to help serve more children, Riester said Phoenix Rising, although “still a small entrepreneurial organization,” has many ideas for forging a beneficial relationship with the education community.
He suggested foreign language initiatives as many players speak other languages; health and fitness classes; working with physical education teachers; arranging field trips to the facility and more.
“The thing we don’t have enough of is grass and that’s why we’re here visiting with you,” Reister said to the board. “In the five years that we have been around we’ve been able to grow youth soccer tremendously and the only thing between us and that continued success is grass.”
The Phoenix Rising FC Youth Soccer organization wants to rent the property that was recently appraised at nearly $8 million if sold outright, and costs about $26,667 per month if rented, according to the going market rate for the property, formerly housing Tonalea Elementary.
After the school relocated to a different area in June 2014, the buildings on the vacated property were demolished and the property was transformed into fields for community use.
SUSD Governing Board Vice President Julie Cieniawski stated how enthused she was to consider having the property improved to make useful and functional.
“Anyone who has driven past that property can see that it’s been a long-standing eye sore in our district, so I appreciate putting pride back in that local community,” Cieniawski said.
Phoenix Rising seeks a 20-year lease and proposes with the Tonalea neighborhood to:
Board member, Jann-Michael Greenburg, added the significance of pursuing proposals like the Phoenix Rising partnership and developing the Coronado complex.
“I would just like to note that this taken together with the Coronado restructuring project I think are two amazing undertakings for our district.
I don’t think the Coronado complex is benefited by not having a dedicated middle school; but I also think by developing that new restructuring, plus adding additional benefits, that are our own students can participate in,” Greenburg said, calling a partnership with Phoenix Rising a great benefit to students.