PARKERSBURG - When Stadium Field was originally constructed about 90 years ago at Parkersburg High School, it was the Parkersburg Rotary Club that sponsored the project, not the Wood County Board of Education.
Rotary members received an update on the current repair project at Stadium Field during the Monday meeting at the Blennerhassett Hotel.
PHS Football Coach Don Reeves talked about the status of the project, fundraising efforts and some of the history of the football facility.
Don Reeves, head coach of the Parkersburg High School Big Reds football team, speaks Monday to the Parkersburg Rotary Club about the ongoing repair project at Stadium Field. (Photo by Wayne Towner)
Reeves said the PHS football program officially began in 1900 and the home stands were built in 1923 over the course of about seven weeks. The visitor stands were built the following year. The total cost at that time was $104,000, he said.
Over the years, Stadium Field has seen a lot of use in a variety of ways, especially for athletics and physical education. Multiple sports from a variety of schools and programs in the area utilize the field on a regular basis, he said.
"I think it's the most used facility in the state of West Virginia," Reeves said.
In the fall, the field is used for football alone about six days each week, from PeeWee leagues on up, he said, and that's before the other fall sports are factored in.
Reeves said the current repair project has received substantial support from the community, including the Wood County Board of Education, the stadium committee, loans and other sources. However, the preliminary cost estimates for the project have grown since that time and efforts are being made to raise additional funds.
The first phase of the project, the demolition phase, has been completed. The second phase, involving pillar repairs and concrete installation, is just getting underway, he said.
Reeves said it is the third phase which has seen higher-than-expected bids come in and has necessitated the need for additional fundraising.
"We're looking for anything that can help," he said.
The football team's first home game is scheduled for late August against Warren High School and Reeves hopes to be able to hold it at PHS, but has an agreement with Warren officials to move the game to the other school if necessary. If Stadium Field can be ready in time, Reeves said home football games are a good fundraiser for a variety of groups each week of the season.
Reeves is appreciative of the support and donations which have come in and are continuing to come in for the repair project. He talked about a crafting group, which includes his mother, that has raised $1,800 by making and selling bracelets on behalf of the stadium project.
In an upcoming fundraiser, Reeves said PHS students from a variety of teams and programs at the school will be conducting a fundraising canvass in Parkersburg and Vienna, going from door to door in partial uniforms to collect donations for the stadium project, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.