Progress on the Stadium Field Rennovation Project

Parkersburg High School and Stadium Field Committee officials are optimistic Stadium Field will be ready to open for the Big Reds' Sept. 20 football game there against Capital.

Before that happens, there are two major remaining obstacles to overcome. One is to get an occupancy permit from the state fire marshal's office. A representative is scheduled to meet with Ryan Taylor, the project engineer on the Stadium Field renovation project, next Monday to go over what needs to be done for that to happen. Taylor is hoping to have the permit in hand by Thursday, Sept. 19, the day before the game.

As far as the construction project goes, work has progressed at a rapid rate. About the only part of the project that could hold up the opening is the installation of handrails, as not all of the handrails ordered have yet to arrive on site.

Taylor said if necessary, temporary handrails could be installed for the Capital game. While they won't give the stadium the wow factor the new handrails will create, they would at least allow it to be open.

This has been a community project with donations continuing to arrive on a daily basis. In giving her financial report, treasurer Charlotte Potter said $131,786 has been received so far this month. That almost exactly matches the amount of money local businessmen needed to raise to get the project completed. A newspaper ad soliciting donations has drawn a strong response as has the paypal option on the Big Reds football web site (which has contributed nearly $10,000 to the cause)..

The committee also raised $5,395 from its Sunday bingo program and friends of former PHS teacher Larry Hattman, who passed away last week, have donated more than $1,100 in his memory.

One of the firms doing work on the stadium, Avan Precast, has enjoyed the project so much, it donated $2,500 to the cause.

In anticipation of the stadium opening on Sept. 20, committee members are starting to make plans for a celebration that night. They want to honor all of those who have made the renovations possible.

Committee members also want to make right something that took place in the past when Susan Storck Ross made a donation that added a second level onto the Stadium Field press box. Although a plaque honoring the late Robert Storck adorns the press box, committee members would like for his name to appear on the facility, while also maintaining the Steve Daugherty Booth in honor of the former PHS announcer. That matter will be taken to the Wood County Board of Education, which must approve the naming of all school facilities.

Committee members also agreed to reimburse Parkersburg High School for the rent it paid to play its opening football game at Don Drumm Stadium in Parkersburg.

Once the home side of the stadium is completed, committee members will begin discussing how to proceed on the visitors side of the facility.

Big Turnout Yields $167,000 Toward $3 Million Stadium Goal

A large turnout of athletes, fans and community leaders produced some good results as over $167,000 was donated to the Save Stadium Field Project.

All the varsity and freshmen football players along with boys and girls soccer teams, cross country, cheerleaders, Red Wings and Big Red band were on had for the special announcement on Monday. Dr. Joe Weaver stated that $105,000 had been raised in a week and another $62,000 was donated at the field, bringing the needed total to finish the home side stands to within reach and setting the stage to have at least four home football games there this season.

Thanks to donated materials and volunteer work, Ryan Taylor stated that there is a good chance the Sept. 20 scheduled home game with Capital would be played at Stadium Field. While there remains a lot to be done to the home side and the entire visiting stands awaits its turn for renovation, there was a positive atmosphere. Taylor stated that once completed the home stands will be something the community can be very proud of for a long time. New bleachers, handrails and handicap seating will be among the features.

The Big Reds first home football game on Aug. 30 with Warren, has been moved to Saturday, Aug. 31 at Marietta College but it is believed that home soccer matches as well as freshman and jayvee football may be able to use the stadium with movable bleachers already situated on the track.

At Monday's Stadium Committee meeting, representatives of the Mid-Ohio Valley Golf Classic presented Parkersburg High School it's share of the proceeds, which amounted to $4,7500. Around $1,400 was raised during the recent Parkersburg Homecoming and another web site Paypal deposit was made bringing the total from that source to nearly $5,400. The committee plans to present the Wood County Board of Education with a check for $93,000 on Wednesday as part of regular payments toward the final construction total of the Stadium. Meanwhile, Ryan Taylor of Pickering & Associates, said he believes the Stadium will be approved to play its home game on Sept. 20 against Capital.

Also, on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Dils Center (521 Market Street) there will be a Help Save The Stadium Bingo with all proceeds going to the Stadium Fund. Doors will open at noon with 21 games for $25 as well as 50/50 raffles, a silent auction and door prizes. Athletes and cheerleaders will help with the professionally run bingo event.

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