Stadium supporters nearing goal

PARKERSBURG -The goal line is in sight, but it still hasn’t been crossed.

Organizers of a fundraising effort designed to ensure Stadium Field is open on Sept. 20 when Parkersburg High School’s football team is scheduled to entertain Capital say they need another $100,000 before they declare victory.

“If we can raise $100,000 in the next three weeks we can have Stadium Field open as planned on Sept. 20,” said Dr. Joe Weaver, the spokesman for a group of businessmen who have been working in conjunction with the Parkersburg High Stadium Field Committee. “We are as close as we have ever been. We are well on our way.”

Weaver’s comments came during Monday night’s weekly meeting of the Stadium Committee, a group that for years has dedicated itself to the ongoing maintenance and improvements at Stadium Field.

The group received a boost Monday night when Steve Hussey and Dale Richardson, representatives of the Erickson All-Sports Facility, presented it with a check for $4,750 from the Mid-Ohio Valley Golf Classic, a combined effort of the two stadium committees known as Purple Pride. They were accompanied by former PHS Athletics Director Jim Hamric, who said the tournament was looking for a future commitment from PHS.

Hamric said a large majority of the work on the tournament has been performed by the Erickson group. Stadium Committee members agreed it was a worthwhile project they wanted to continue and committed their support to future tournaments.

Ryan Taylor of Pickering Associates, the project engineer, said construction is moving at a fast pace. He noted that members of the Parkersburg-Marietta Building and Construction Trades Council are volunteering their services this Saturday, when he expects the front sidewalk to be poured. Volunteers are welcome to help on Saturday, when work will begin at 8 a.m.

Taylor said plans call for the front row to be installed next week. He reported a Monday meeting with the local fire marshal to review the project had gone well and that if the remaining work is satisfactorily completed, a final occupancy permit can be issued on Sept. 16, in time for the stadium to open on Sept. 20.

Fundraising efforts continue to be successful. A solicitation on the PHS football team’s website, www.phsbigredsfootball.com, has been responsible for raising $5,400 in the past five weeks.

Committee member Rex Foster emphasized it was imperative to get the stadium open by Sept. 20 or the community is going to lose confidence in the project.

Weaver pointed out that once the money to get the construction project on the home side is completed, the Stadium Committee still will be on the hook for the more than a half million dollar loan it secured toward the project.

In addition to the PHS football website, those wishing to make donations can make checks payable to the PHS Stadium Committee, 2101 Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, WV 26101. Contributions also can be dropped to any member of the committee or at Parkersburg High School between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.