Stadium given local support

PARKERSBURG -Football coaches always are looking for heavy hitters.

While Parkersburg High School’s football team was conducting its first day of drills Monday on the artificial turf of Stadium Field, some heavy hitters from the local business community were paying a visit to the PHS Stadium Field Committee to offer their collective services with the group’s ongoing fundraising effort.

Dr. Joe Weaver, Jason Minnite, Chris Campbell, Curtis Miller and Vince Conley asked committee members how much money it would take to ensure Stadium Field would be ready for Parkersburg’s home game on Sept. 20 against Capital. PHS officials already have made arrangements to play their season and home opener against Warren on Aug. 30 at Don Drumm Stadium in Marietta.

“Our goal is to have the stadium open by Sept. 20,” Weaver said. “It will take us all working together. Let’s just get it done.”

After going through a thorough review of the stadium committee’s finances as well as getting a construction update from project engineer Ryan Taylor of Pickering Associates, it was determined it would take approximately $350,000 for the stadium to be occupied for the Capital game.

That is the amount of money it will take to complete the home or pressbox side bleachers and allow them to pass inspection. That side of the stadium seats between 4,100 and 4,200 fans.

Even if the quintet of businessmen is able to use its connections and raise the necessary money for the home side to be opened, PHS still will have to deal with the visitors side of the stadium. The total cost to repair the home side is approximately $1,852,000. The Wood County Board of Education committed $700,000 to the project and the stadium committee secured a $600,000 loan, leaving more than another $500,000 to be raised.

Taylor said the precast construction on the home side will be completed by Aug. 13 while work on the expansion joints that must be installed is scheduled to begin today. Taylor told the committee it could run out of funds for the project by mid-August. Volunteer work days have been scheduled for the next two Saturdays.

Committee members spent considerable time discussing possible fundraising efforts, ranging from bingo to attempting to raise money online.

It was agreed the committee will have a concessions booth at the Parkersburg Homecoming celebration Aug. 16-18.

The PHS boys and girls soccer program, who also call Stadium Field home, will conduct their annual ice cream social and youth carnival from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, on the front campus at the school. A highlight will be a silent auction featuring a baseball autographed by PHS graduate Nick Swisher, a Dusty Baker autographed baseball, a framed and autographed picture of former Big Red soccer standout Zak Boggs, two tickets to a St. Louis Rams football game and four WVU football tickets.