Supporters of a proposed $3 million stadium complex at Freeport High School started a fundraising campaign Tuesday in an effort to reduce the cost to taxpayers in Freeport, Durham and Pownal.

Residents of the three towns that make up Regional School Unit 5 will vote June 14 on a bond issue to build an eight-lane track surrounding a synthetic-turf field with lights, bleachers, a press booth and concessions.

“It’s our hope that through naming rights and corporate sponsorships, the cost will be significantly less,” said Craig Sickels, RSU 5 athletic director and chairman of the stadium complex advisory committee.

Campaign co-chairpersons Joan Benoit-Samuelson, an Olympic gold-medal marathoner, and Larry Wold, president of TD Bank Maine, hosted a fundraising reception Tuesday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport.

As it stands, borrowing $3 million would cost Freeport taxpayers 15.6 cents per $1,000 of property value, or $31.20 per year on a $200,000 home, Sickels said.

Durham taxpayers would pay 15 cents per $1,000, or $30 per year on a $200,000 home. Pownal taxpayers would pay $10 per year on a $200,000 home based on the way their town assesses property taxes.

Overall, the stadium complex would cost an estimated $3.8 million, financed over 15 years, according to referendum documents.

Freeport would pay 66 percent of the cost, or $2.5 million, while Durham would pay 21 percent, or $818,000, and Pownal would pay 13 percent, or $481,000.

Freeport officials have been trying to develop a track-and-field facility at the high school since 2002, Sickels said.

Without a track, 40 students who participate in spring track-and-field events must travel, on their own, to Brunswick to practice on the Bowdoin College track.

“If a track was right behind the high school, track-and-field participation could easily double,” Sickels said.

The stadium complex also would serve the football team, which now practices and plays at a town-owned field on Pownal Road in Freeport, as well as the soccer, field hockey and lacrosse teams.

Sickels said similar tracks in other Maine communities are used heavily by community members for walking, running and other forms of exercise when not being used by students.

Sickels said the district plans to address neighbors’ concerns about traffic, noise and light generated by the stadium complex, which would be located near Interstate 295.

If a majority of voters in each town approve the $3 million bond issue, construction would start in the spring of 2012 and students would be able to use the stadium complex in the spring of 2013, Sickels said.

The stadium complex is one of three field proposals being developed in Freeport, largely in response to a 2009 report on the need for athletic fields in town.

Freeport Fields and Trails, a coalition of local residents and business owners, plans to build a $3.3 million, multiuse complex off Hunter Road that would include several playing fields, trails for running, biking and cross-country skiing, and a recreational lodge.

The Freeport Town Council voted unanimously in April to spend $2.3 million in surplus funds on the fields and trails project. L.L. Bean announced in May that it will donate $500,000 to the project to celebrate its upcoming 100th anniversary in 2012.

In addition, Seacoast United Maine plans to build an indoor/outdoor soccer complex, also off Hunter Road.

The town council decided to give the property to the soccer club at no cost in exchange for playing time on its fields.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at: [email protected]