June 23, 2022
By David Nordby
The Brillion News
A complete version of this story appears in the June 23, 2022 print edition of The Brillion News.
BRILLION – A vision is in place for a new sports facility – Brillion Athletic Complex – to be built at Brillion High School for the football and track and field teams, as well as a potential future soccer team for the school.
Walter Keller was a captain of Brillion High School’s first football team. He left behind money when he passed away in 2019. His son, Bruce, had a dream to use his father’s donation to improve the football field.
“I’ve been a fan and a supporter of Brillion athletics for a long time,” Bruce said at a group luncheon last week. “I had the opportunity in the last three years to be a part of the football program and getting to stand on the sidelines, got to see some … awesome football stadiums and (I) had my thought, why not Brillion? That’s how the dream started.”
Bruce’s desire to upgrade the field at Brillion Middle School, where the team has long played its football games, sprouted into a full $4-5 million plan to have all of the schools’ sports involved.
“With the donation, I thought that Dad would be in on something like this and also in the long run I’m going to be personally in on the project as far as financial,” Bruce said.
The project would include upgrades to the baseball and softball outfields along with the new multi-use facility. It would include a press box and hospitality building, including updated restrooms and concession areas.
The group says that its plan for the new complex would include activities for youth, students and athletes. They say it would be a modern venue for extended year-round sports and other events. The group is working with the tagline “Embracing our tradition, investing in our future.”
The committee for the group includes Bruce Keller, Jason Keller, Peter Kittel, Jeff Capelle, Tanner Behnke, Chad Shimek, Jeff Schlender, Corey Baumgartner, Elissa Hoffman, Bonnie Brantmeier, David Meyer and Mark Fischer.
The funds for the project will come from private donations. None of the funds for the project will come from the school, though Baumgartner (superintendent) and Hoffman (high school principal) are a part of the group and assisting.
The group is working toward a goal of breaking ground on the facility by spring 2023.