News

Stadium goal in sight

With the goal posts installed and the grandstand being built, a new stadium at Oak Harbor High School is on track to be ready for the football and soccer games scheduled this fall.

The stadium, which is funded by a voter-approved bond, is on time and on budget. In fact, athletes should be able to practice on the field in the days leading up to their first home game.

School district Construction Manager Gary Goltz said that would allow athletes to familiarize themselves with the new field and break it in at the same time.

The new stadium will provide a huge improvement over the dilapidated War Memorial Stadium on Midway Boulevard. That facility had an uneven surface and temporary bleachers were brought in every fall, because the permanent ones had to be demolished.

Workers are busy laying bricks that comprise the grandstand, locker rooms and concession areas.

The new bleachers will be farther back from the football field than the temporary ones at War Memorial Stadium. Goltz said that was done as a safety precaution and it allows ample space for the cheerleaders during games.

Crews will start installing the aluminum bleachers and artificial surface by the end of the month. Both the home bleachers and the visiting bleachers will be covered to protect spectators from the elements.

Underneath the bleachers will be locker rooms, office space and a concession area, which is larger than the one at Memorial Stadium.

“It’s much bigger than anything they had used in the past,” Goltz said.

The field, called Sportex rug, consists of turf with rubberized beads and sand incorporated in it to provide cushioning for athletes.

A competition quality track is included, along with facilities for field events. That will mean the track team will finally be able to have meets in Oak Harbor. School officials decided years ago to not have any home meets in Oak Harbor because of the poor condition of the school’s old track.

A memorial will also be installed at the new stadium. That memorial, which includes a belltower, is being funded though donations. The effort was boosted recently when the state Legislature provided $50,000 to help pay for the approximately $100,000 cost.

The remainder of the funding came from the high school’s student government, the Booster Club and through donations made by community groups such as Rotary.

School officials hope the belltower memorial will be installed in time for the first home game in September.

Superintendent Rick Schulte said the school district is getting an estimate from the contractor building the stadium for the memorial work. The school district is also getting an estimate from a welding company for the metalwork needed to build the memorial. Those estimates will provide a better idea about the costs. The district has already ordered bronze emblems depicting each branch of the service.

The school board is expected to approve proceeding with the project during its Tuesday evening meeting. People will also be able to see a sample of the metal at the meeting.

Community Events, April 2014

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