School board members shared the job of breaking ground for the district’s new $8 million sports complex with members of the Highland High football team.
At a ceremony Monday night in Granger Township, officials said they can’t wait for the community to visit and enjoy the new sports complex at the school when it’s completed next August.
“They’ve been working really hard to get work in before the snow flies,” Superintendent Catherine Aukerman said.
The project is expected to cost up to $8 million and will include a stadium that will seat up to 5,000. Football and soccer teams will play games at the stadium and track meets can be conducted on the eight-lane track that will circle the stadium’s field. The complex also will have tennis courts.
“Our (current) stadium has a field that can no longer stand up to Ohio weather,” Aukerman said.
She said she hopes that in addition to the sports teams who will benefit from the complex, band students and physical education classes will be able to take advantage of the facility.
Aukerman thanked the community for their support, and introduced a number of people who already made donations to the stadium to ease the financial burden on the district.
The Highland Athletic Boosters presented a check for $225,000 to the district Monday. Dan Petek, president of Castek Aluminum, announced his company would donate a hornet sculpture for the main entrance to the stadium. He said the sculpture is in the design phase, but Aukerman said his donation is valued at between $75,000 and $100,000.
Members of the Highland Hornets’ football team attended the event, and though many were seniors, they said they were happy for their younger teammates who would have the opportunity to play in a better stadium.
“I’m pretty excited for them; it’s going to be really nice,” said Tony Svoboda, a 17-year-old senior.
Tyler Frederick, a junior lineman on the team, said he’s looking forward to a locker room that’s a better fit to his large physique.
“I actually can’t fit to sit comfortably,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot more room.”
Students said the feature they were most excited about was the hornet sculpture. The centerpiece will be a source of school pride, a larger-than-life mascot.
“It’s going to be so sweet,” Frederick said. “It’s going to be awesome.”