OHIO VALLEY — As the football season kicked off around the region this past Friday, two teams opened their new stadiums. A third will open its new home in week three.
While the completed stadiums speak for themselves, it took a great deal of time, effort, planning and money to make the three dream stadiums the reality they are today.
The stadiums at Meigs, River Valley and South Gallia have not only provided new homes for the teams, but have brought several in the community together to work on the projects.
From the Meigs Local Enrichment Foundation to the Gridiron for Gallia committee, community involvement has been key throughout the process of planning and constructing the stadiums.
All three athletic complexes feature newly constructed press boxes, bleachers, concession stands, grass fields with drainage systems, tracks and other facilities.
Five years in the making, the new stadium at Meigs High School officially opened its doors just two days ago with the recognition of several who made the complex a reality.
The Meigs Local Enrichment Foundation (MLEF) was formed in 2007 to improve the quality of the Meigs Local School District and surrounding communities.
From the fund raising to the hundreds of volunteer hours, members of the community has been involved in numerous aspects of the complex’s planning and completion.
The approximately $2 million project was completed through donations from individuals and businesses, as well as multiple fund raising efforts.
Many local suppliers and contractors helped in the building of the facility. From the design to the plumbing and the heating and cooling systems, the work has been done by local businesses and community members.
Contractors helping in “fulfilling the dream” were American Electric Power, Albany Nursery Company, E & E Borderline Surveying, Hendrix Heating and Cooling, Heiberger Paving, Hughie’s Sound System, OES Scoreboards, Pat Mullen Construction, Musco Lighting, PDK Construction, PSI Construction, Rose Excavating, RVC Architects, Stoncel Electric, Thompson Plumbing, Vales Precision Poured Walls, Dave York Sports, JS Decal and DV Weber Construction.
The newly constructed stadium at Meigs has been named “Farmers Bank Stadium”, with the field now bearing the name “Holzer Field”, as approved by the Meigs Local Board of Education in January.
The MLEF requested the naming of both the field and the stadium based on recent financial contributions to the project.
The MLEF leased the property where the stadium now stands from the district for the purpose of constructing the new stadium. The lease expired on June 30, 2012, at which time the property and the stadium were returned to the district.
Gallia County Local
While the stadium at Meigs has been funded through the MLEF, the stadiums at River Valley and South Gallia have been funded in large part by the district.
Gallia County Local Schools Superintendent, Dr. Charla Evans said the district had been planning and saving toward the project, having about $3 million to put toward the project. The funds came through the Permanent Improvement Fund.
The remainder of the project was financed through an agreement with Ohio Valley Bank.
Funds have also been raised by the Gridiron for Gallia committee through various fund raising efforts, including the annual Jamboree Game between River Valley and South Gallia. Local businesses and individuals have also played a role in making donations to the projects.
Each stadium required approximately $2.5 million to complete.
The stadium complex at South Gallia and River Valley also included the construction of locker rooms, a weight room and coaches’ offices.
Trimat Construction completed both stadiums, as well as the field at River Valley. Crown Excavating completed the field at South Gallia.
Fanning Howey Architects from Dublin, Ohio, completed the design work on the two stadiums, which are very similar aesthetically.
Construction work began in January 2011, with planning beginning about a year before that, according to Evans. In addition to fund raising efforts, the Gridiron for Gallia committee helped with the planning of the sports complexes.
“We hope to be able to construct new baseball and softball fields on the campuses of both high schools in the near future,” said Evans. “It is simply not ideal for RVHS students to be travelling to Cheshire for practice and games. SGHS fields are located on the Hannan Trace Elementary campus, but these fields need to be relocated and updated, as well.”